Charlie Card Rumors

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:

  1. 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.
  2. You can buy Charlie cards with T tokens.
  3. 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.
  4. No humans will sell Charlie cards, only the machines.

That’s all I remember, but I’ll keep my ears open for more rumors.

2 Responses to “Charlie Card Rumors”

  1. Justin Sabourin Says:

    Corrections to this flawed article.

    1) A CharlieTicket is a paper ticket that goes in the new faregates (good for occasional riders or “one token” purchases). A CharlieCard is a contactless smart card that you wave in front of a reader and go but is NOT inserted. This can hold a pass or dollar value and is better for frequent riders.

    2) The T has purchased 50 cash register systems that can sell the tickets/cards from a human.

  2. Jemima Says:

    Correction to the correction:

    At the moment (early February, 2006), a CharlieTicket is also a plastic card of the same composition as last year’s monthly T passes, which can be slid through an old-style fare box sideways in the manner of the old passes, or can go into a new box vertically like New York’s Metro tickets.

    I haven’t seen any paper CharlieTickets, any Charlie Cards, or any new fare boxes. But I want to believe in the smart cards…