On the T this morning I heard someone talking about the Charlie Card on a cell phone—giving out those top-secret subway fare collection secrets for anyone to hear. Apparently there was some sort of demo or lecture about the new fare cards. Most of what I learned contradicted the last batch of happy RFID rumors I’d heard.
So here’s the scoop:
- The cards go bodily through the machine–in one end and out the other, not through a slider. This means no more hole-punching your subway pass and sticking it on your keyring.
- You can buy Charlie cards with T tokens.
- Not all the readers will be changed over at the same time, so if you have a new Charlie card you really can get stuck at Quincy Adams with no token to get out with—just like Charlie. And you’ll never return, no, you’ll never return, and your fate will be unlearned. You will ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, etc.
- No humans will sell Charlie cards, only the machines.
That’s all I remember, but I’ll keep my ears open for more rumors.