Public Can Give Input on MBTA Fare Changes at 2 Meetings

Charlie BreitroseA 71 bus on Mt. Auburn Street. The following information was provided by the MBTA:

MBTA staff today proposed to the Audit and Finance Subcommittee of the MBTA Board several fare policy changes as part of the MBTA’s Fare Transformation, which aims to make paying for transit easier and more convenient for our customers. 

“These fare media updates will provide MBTA riders with greater flexibility through the introduction of ‘tappable’ forms of payment that are compatible with future fare readers on buses and trolleys, allowing for all-door boarding and, ultimately, for faster service,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We know some changes will take time to get used to, like the $3 card fee that allows for ‘one more trip protection’ and making sure every rider has a Charlie Card or other form of fare payment. But, if approved by the MBTA’s Board in April, we’re excited to make these important improvements to our fare system and to provide even more easy-to-use fare options to our riders.”

Upon completion of the public input process in March and subject to the MBTA Board approval in April, these policy changes would go into effect with the introduction of the MBTA’s next phases of Fare Transformation. 

The MBTA is actively seeking public comment through multiple forums and channels on the following fare policy changes related to the upcoming fare media:

·       Ending “Passback”: Currently allowed through the legacy fare system, the same CharlieCard or CharlieTicket loaded with fare value can be used to allow multiple riders through a fare gate.

MBTA Holding Virtual Public Meetings on Changes to Purchase Fares

An MBTA bus in Watertown. The following announcement was provided by the MBTA and MassDOT:

Three virtual public meetings are being held this month regarding the MBTA’s Fare Transformation program and upgrades to its sales network. In the future, riders will be able to purchase MBTA fares and passes online, via their smartphones, and with contactless credit/debit cards. Though customers will no longer be able to use cash to pay onboard vehicles once the new fare collection system is implemented by 2023, the MBTA is currently introducing more places to load cash onto CharlieCards than were previously available. Aimed at serving cash-dependent riders, this expansion will result in a larger, more robust, and more diverse sales network of retailers, in-station fare vending machines, and new streetscape fare vending machines at bus stops, Commuter Rail, Green Line, and Mattapan Line stations across the network.