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Old 12-06-2017, 06:46 AM   #41
Arlington
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

I'm responding in this thread, assuming that things will be merged:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahvon09 View Post
The MBTA is planning to replace the present ways that you pay to commute on the system. Click on the link below.
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.s..._youll_be.html
That's a really great article, with pictures showing all the new machines (subway fare machines, bus fare pylons, and new fare gates). I assume that the new $5 fare media (which lets you go into deficit for 1 trip, as long as you have it on you) will still need to be given away to the lowest-income / most-reduced-fare patrons.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:07 AM   #42
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

I have a question about the proposed fare gates. Wider gates means fewer gates, right? At many stations, the fare gates present a significant bottleneck during rush hour to both the passengers exiting the station en mass as well as the people trying to enter the station at the same time.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of something that amounts to a few seconds delay, but I think it is already a small problem and fewer fare gates will only exacerbate the problem.

Or perhaps the root cause of the problem is overcrowded trains and decreased headways is the real solution? The same passenger load spread over more trains will mean smaller crowds with each arriving train. Even with more frequent trains, stations like Kendall will still be under crush load every single morning and I worry that these fare gates will be a real obstacle.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:18 AM   #43
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

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I have a question about the proposed fare gates. Wider gates means fewer gates, right? At many stations, the fare gates present a significant bottleneck during rush hour to both the passengers exiting the station en mass as well as the people trying to enter the station at the same time.
Not necessarily. There's a lot of room spent on the gate mechanisms themselves. It looks like the new ones will be much thinner = wider gates.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:36 AM   #44
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

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Not necessarily. There's a lot of room spent on the gate mechanisms themselves. It looks like the new ones will be much thinner = wider gates.
I suppose. It is tough to eyeball from this picture, but you are right it isn't a big difference in total width for the whole mechanism.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:40 AM   #45
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Subway/Elevated Stations with significant bus connections (Davis, Porter) should have fare vending on the bus/surface level, not just the Mezzanine.

Not just "should have happened once FVMs we're no longer exotic/mysterious" and not just " bus-centric" users, but also to complete online-and-TVM-tap refills but particularly in anticipation of a "no farebox" future.

Old Lechmere should long have had a FVM on the Busway side.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:57 PM   #46
whittle
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

A couple people have complained on reddit over the past week of having difficultly getting Charlie Cards. They report employees saying that they haven't been getting new ones lately and even indicated that no more would be coming since Charlie Cards are being phased out. Since we're over a year from the scheduled beginning of AFC 2.0 pilots, anyone know what's up here?

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comm...ie_card_epoch/

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comm..._charliecards/
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:44 AM   #47
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

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Originally Posted by whittle View Post
A couple people have complained on reddit over the past week of having difficultly getting Charlie Cards. They report employees saying that they haven't been getting new ones lately and even indicated that no more would be coming since Charlie Cards are being phased out. Since we're over a year from the scheduled beginning of AFC 2.0 pilots, anyone know what's up here?

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comm...ie_card_epoch/

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comm..._charliecards/
all the convenience stores still have them. my guess is the mbta is just phasing out random stations having them because they always wanted people to get them from convenience and grocery stores anyways...
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #48
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

I spoke to the AFC 2.0 team at the last meeting and thought I would share what I learned from them:

Every commuter rail station will have fare validators on the platforms, tap on before you board and tap off when you leave, conductors will have validators to ensure you have tapped, they want to include actual fare gates to tap out of at the terminal stations (south, north, back bay) but its not in the specs yet, they need cooperation from Amtrak and Keolis to make it happen, along with fire codes and egress requirements. Still in the goals for AFC 2.0 though.

Certain FVMs will not provide change for cash, this allows them to be much cheaper, smaller and more power efficient for more remote installations at bus stops etc.

While Android Pay and Apple Pay will work, discussions are still ongoing about fare caps (necessary for most people on monthly passes to switch to contactless payments). The Charlie app will apparently work via NFC, no scanning phone screens, though they couldn't explain the specifics of how that will work on iOS which has notoriously locked down NFC capabilities.

Free transfers between commuter rail and subway are still being discussed, no confirmation on that unfortunately.

Implementation will begin with little new fare readers literally attached on top of existing fare gates and next to bus fare boxes for the pilots, following pilots a portion of the old gates and FVM will be replaced and the systems will operate alongside each other. Then old gates and FVM will be removed and fully replaced.

The team is in active contact with TfL learning about their system, had a meeting with them last week. Awesome to see them taking information from systems that work, nothing wrong with that.

Peak/off peak fares are definitely still in consideration but doesn't seem any work has been done on that just yet.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:41 PM   #49
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

That is all very encouraging, thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:09 PM   #50
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Thanks for the info HelloBostonHi. Any idea what's going on with the procurement delays? I understand RFPs were supposed to go out to the short-listed bidders months ago.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:14 PM   #51
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloBostonHi View Post
I spoke to the AFC 2.0 team at the last meeting and thought I would share what I learned from them:

Every commuter rail station will have fare validators on the platforms, tap on before you board and tap off when you leave, conductors will have validators to ensure you have tapped, they want to include actual fare gates to tap out of at the terminal stations (south, north, back bay) but its not in the specs yet, they need cooperation from Amtrak and Keolis to make it happen, along with fire codes and egress requirements. Still in the goals for AFC 2.0 though.

Certain FVMs will not provide change for cash, this allows them to be much cheaper, smaller and more power efficient for more remote installations at bus stops etc.

While Android Pay and Apple Pay will work, discussions are still ongoing about fare caps (necessary for most people on monthly passes to switch to contactless payments). The Charlie app will apparently work via NFC, no scanning phone screens, though they couldn't explain the specifics of how that will work on iOS which has notoriously locked down NFC capabilities.

Free transfers between commuter rail and subway are still being discussed, no confirmation on that unfortunately.

Implementation will begin with little new fare readers literally attached on top of existing fare gates and next to bus fare boxes for the pilots, following pilots a portion of the old gates and FVM will be replaced and the systems will operate alongside each other. Then old gates and FVM will be removed and fully replaced.

The team is in active contact with TfL learning about their system, had a meeting with them last week. Awesome to see them taking information from systems that work, nothing wrong with that.

Peak/off peak fares are definitely still in consideration but doesn't seem any work has been done on that just yet.
If the MBTA rolls this out like SEPTA, it will be like stepping back to 2006.

If the MBTA rolls it out like a competent European agency, this will be great.

Any bets on which end result we will get?
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:59 PM   #52
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Quote:
Originally Posted by jass View Post
If the MBTA rolls this out like SEPTA, it will be like stepping back to 2006.

If the MBTA rolls it out like a competent European agency, this will be great.

Any bets on which end result we will get?
MBTA isn't doing most of the work, Cubic is and they have an performance based contract that requires they maintain the system for 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanFolkLegend View Post
Thanks for the info HelloBostonHi. Any idea what's going on with the procurement delays? I understand RFPs were supposed to go out to the short-listed bidders months ago.
RFPs for what? Cubic and John Liang were awarded the contract for AFC 2.0 months ago.

Last edited by whittle; 03-11-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:01 PM   #53
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

BTW, they did a presentation to the FMCB last month which talked about the user testing process and how point of sale locations (fare vending machines and retail locations) will be selected. They have a map of all the places which Cubic is required to place fare vending machines no matter what:
  • any places which already have them (so any subway station, D Line station, or SL1 station)
  • all Zone 1A commuter rail stations
  • all Silver Line stops
  • GLX stations
  • select additional B, C, and E stations (the logic behind which ones though does not seem clear; Fenwood Rd gets them while the C-Line is only guaranteed 3 stations with FVMs?)
  • and 5 dots which to me seem to be Fenway Park, the MFA, the BCEC, Central Square Bus Stop, and the St James & Dartmouth bus stop (why these were chosen confounds me beyond all imagination considering they are within a few hundred feet of at least one location that would already be getting FVMs)

In addition, cubic will be required to ensure a point of sale location within 1000ft of 95% of trips and 2000ft of 98% of trips. Retail locations that can satisfy this requirement will have to meet certain requirements for hours of operation and accessibility.

Also it's unclear to me why Mattapan HSL and Commuter Rail will be getting validators at stations (like TfL has National Rail, DLR, and the South London Trams), but GL will be getting them onboard the trains. Seems to me that offboard validators would maximize the gains of all-door boarding (particularly if we ever require an tap-off) and would require less validators overall.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:55 PM   #54
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Quote:
Originally Posted by whittle View Post
select additional B, C, and E stations (the logic behind which ones though does not seem clear; Fenwood Rd gets them while the C-Line is only guaranteed 3 stations with FVMs?)
C-Line doesn't exactly have a lot of low-income/disabled/immigrant/otherwise cash-only riders, and that's a significant aspect to their choices for additional stations to get them, I think. Your typical C-Line rider will be capable of using the app or the website to add $ to their card.

Quote:
and 5 dots which to me seem to be Fenway Park, the MFA, the BCEC, Central Square Bus Stop, and the St James & Dartmouth bus stop (why these were chosen confounds me beyond all imagination considering they are within a few hundred feet of at least one location that would already be getting FVMs)
That largely makes sense to me as well. The first 3 are major hubs for people that have no idea what they're doing with transportation, and which also generate huge peak loads at their nearby stations. If some of them use the fare machines there rather than making a queue 100 people long at the station, it makes some sense.

Central and St. James and Dartmouth are pretty good sized bus hubs and having to walk down into the station and back out if you're transferring between buses isn't great. In the latter case, it's also the dropoff point for Logan Express, so you do have people with no clue what they're doing entering the transit system/city there.

Quote:
Also it's unclear to me why Mattapan HSL and Commuter Rail will be getting validators at stations (like TfL has National Rail, DLR, and the South London Trams), but GL will be getting them onboard the trains. Seems to me that offboard validators would maximize the gains of all-door boarding (particularly if we ever require an tap-off) and would require less validators overall.
You can't really put one in on the street-running part of the E, and it might be a challenge at some of the B/C surface stops as well.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:01 PM   #55
whittle
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

Quote:
Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
C-Line doesn't exactly have a lot of low-income/disabled/immigrant/otherwise cash-only riders, and that's a significant aspect to their choices for additional stations to get them, I think. Your typical C-Line rider will be capable of using the app or the website to add $ to their card.
I think confusion would be better stated as why does Fenwood Rd get them? It's the third least used GL station and is <500ft from Brigham Circle which will also be getting FVMs.


Quote:
You can't really put one in on the street-running part of the E, and it might be a challenge at some of the B/C surface stops as well.
If you can put FVMs at Fenwood Rd, I can't see why you couldn't put fare validators on the (South) Huntington sidewalks. And as far as the B/C stations go, fare validators can't be more obtrusive than say, a tree in the platform.

Last edited by whittle; 03-11-2019 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:36 PM   #56
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

I'm wondering it that's actually two FVMs at Brigham Circle since it has those weird split platforms.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:46 PM   #57
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

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Originally Posted by The EGE View Post
I'm wondering it that's actually two FVMs at Brigham Circle since it has those weird split platforms.
That's a possibility, but Harvard Ave, Allston St, Warren St, and Coolidge Corner are all one dot.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:03 AM   #58
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

True. Perhaps then to serve 39 and 66 riders?
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:57 AM   #59
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

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That's a possibility, but Harvard Ave, Allston St, Warren St, and Coolidge Corner are all one dot.
So I've seen some specs at work and one dot doesn't necessarily equal one FVM. I honestly would love to just publish the specs for you guys but they're under NDA so I can only share what I got the guy at the meeting to share.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:00 AM   #60
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Re: Charlie Card/MBTA Fare Replacement system

T fare point of sale capabilities should be integrated into the new Massachusetts lottery terminals that have been rolling out across the Commonwealth since about 2017. Those devices already make secure sales, return the revenue to the Commonwealth, and are EVERYWHERE (nearly every convenience store, bodega, gas station, grocery store, etc.). And if anything, these terminals are even more prevalent in neighborhoods with lower socioeconomic status.

We already have this system in place; why reinvent the wheel? I'm not expert in this field, but a "T" option ("Home Screen" "game button") could probably be pushed out to every terminal in the Commonwealth an overnight software update.

The marketing could not be simpler: anywhere you can buy a Powerball ticket you can put money on your CharlieCard.
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