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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Keolis Commuter Services yesterday announced plans to improve the agency's ticket checking system for its commuter-rail network. The initiative includes a revenue-sharing partnership between the agency and Keolis, which operates the MBTA's commuter-rail system. The agreement expands a marketing and ridership growth initiative aimed at allowing additional investment into the system, Keolis officials said in a press release.Keolis will conduct focus groups with commuter-rail passengers traveling through North Station. The purpose is to solicit input on customer-friendly approaches to fare collection systems.Focus group results will be reviewed and incorporated into a phased approach of new ticket-checking systems."Through this work, we're aiming to bring 'best practice' ticket selling and ticket-checking systems into operation here in Massachusetts," said David Scorey, Keolis Commuter Services' chief executive officer and general manager.In a recent survey, two-thirds of riders said their fare was collected or passes were checked "all the time," Keolis officials said. MBTA estimates it could recover up to $24 million in uncollected fares by modernizing the ticket-checking system.At present, conductors check tickets on board with a punch-card system.
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