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11/10/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

MBTA to phase in new automated fare-collection system


On Monday, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) launched a public education campaign to promote a new automated fare-collection system.

In 2006, the authority plans to begin offering a plastic "Charlie Card," which will automatically deduct the cost of a train ride at a turnstile or fare box. Riders can add value to the card at machines located at MBTA stations.

During the next two years, MBTA will phase in the automated card, first by implementing the Charlie Ticket — a paper version of the card. The ticket will be available on the Silver Line in February; Blue Line, in spring; and Red, Orange and Green lines, in late summer.

The card is named after the 1950s Kingston Trio’s song "Charlie on the MTA" about a man who continued to ride the Boston-area transit system because he did not have a required five-cent exit fare.



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