MBTA Fare System (Charlie, AFC 2.0, Zone, Discounts)

as02143

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It's funny because places that have had proof of payment fare systems (that is, Germany) they often have "bring up to 3 friends" for monthly pass holders after 8pm and on weekends.
 

fattony

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One more ride is a good idea and 3$ is lower than most other systems with permanent cards (eg DC and London).
IIRC, 5-ish years ago I had to pay £8 for an Oyster Card. It was refundable if you returned the card, which I did at the end of my visit. The entire point of these fees is to keep cards out of garbage cans. It really isn’t any more complicated.

For long time riders, they float the card fee like a loan to the transit system for years on end. That seems trivial to me.
 
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fattony

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It's funny because places that have had proof of payment fare systems (that is, Germany) they often have "bring up to 3 friends" for monthly pass holders after 8pm and on weekends.
That is an interesting policy. During low ridership periods, you give away some free rides to people visiting or who don’t ride transit often enough to have their own pass. This encourages people to try transit and get to know the system. It makes transit cost competitive over splitting the cost of parking or a taxi 3-4 ways.
 

bakgwailo

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That is an interesting policy. During low ridership periods, you give away some free rides to people visiting or who don’t ride transit often enough to have their own pass. This encourages people to try transit and get to know the system. It makes transit cost competitive over splitting the cost of parking or a taxi 3-4 ways.
Didn't the T have something like this way back when on Sundays (or something similar)?
 

as02143

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That is an interesting policy. During low ridership periods, you give away some free rides to people visiting or who don’t ride transit often enough to have their own pass. This encourages people to try transit and get to know the system. It makes transit cost competitive over splitting the cost of parking or a taxi 3-4 ways.
It's a great policy. I enjoyed it a few times when I visited and my friends there had a monthly pass to share for our dinners out or for travelling around at the weekend. It really felt like the city transit there understood that it leaves a positive impression and would help them keep their monthly pass users as happy clients.
 

Stlin

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View attachment 24755
View attachment 24756
It appears to really be happening this time
I just hope that we figure out the all-door boarding and fare enforcement situation for buses, and more importantly the GL. The NYC MTA has recently introduced the asinine idea of installing OMNY readers at all doors, but still forcing riders to board through the front door only. Apparently, the rear readers say front door only. This is, apparently an effort to crack down on fare evasion, but it rather defeats the point.
 

HelloBostonHi

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I just hope that we figure out the all-door boarding and fare enforcement situation for buses, and more importantly the GL. The NYC MTA has recently introduced the asinine idea of installing OMNY readers at all doors, but still forcing riders to board through the front door only. Apparently, the rear readers say front door only. This is, apparently an effort to crack down on fare evasion, but it rather defeats the point.
The strategy as currently approved by the board is all door boarding on "most routes" with random fare inspections occuring while en route. NY seems to have struggled with it's proof of payment transition.
 

jass

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The strategy as currently approved by the board is all door boarding on "most routes" with random fare inspections occuring while en route. NY seems to have struggled with it's proof of payment transition.
History is repeating.

When Charlie 1.0 launched, all door boarding with random fare inspections is what we had on the green line. It didnt last a year because of fare evasion hysteria.

NYC is now having the same issue. They paid to install readers at the back door of every single bus, but the "what if people dont pay" karens are shrieking, and as long as transit collects fares, then fare collection and ONLY fare collection will be the number 1 priority of management.
 

HelloBostonHi

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The difference is that charlie 1.0 had no good verification system while Charlie 2.0 is built around the idea of fare verification and proof of payment. There are handheld readers built specifically for that job on Charlie 2.0 and since the system is account based and online it's feasible, the old offline system made it pretty impossible. They also already have a fare enforcement strategy and an expected amount of fare evasion built into the budget right now. When they did it with Charlie 1.0 they had no system in mind
 

jass

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The difference is that charlie 1.0 had no good verification system while Charlie 2.0 is built around the idea of fare verification and proof of payment. There are handheld readers built specifically for that job on Charlie 2.0 and since the system is account based and online it's feasible, the old offline system made it pretty impossible. They also already have a fare enforcement strategy and an expected amount of fare evasion built into the budget right now. When they did it with Charlie 1.0 they had no system in mind
Not exactly. Charlie 1.0 had PoP in the form of paper receipts. You tapped on the platform, it printed a receipt, and you showed your paper if prompted. I believe someone said those machines are how the Franklin line PoP work.

Staff also had handheld readers to deduct fare, most commonly used at Fenway after games.

Charlie 1.0 also has an online account system?

MyCharlie---Making CharlieCards Even Better.
If you plan on using your CharlieCard for more than a month, consider creating a MyCharlie Account. It allows you to set up recurring monthly pass purchases and provides "No Worries Protection" in case of loss, theft, or damage to your card.

And Charlie 1.0 did have two dedicated teams of for fare enforcement on the green line.


Of coruse the NYC system - OMNY - is brand new and has all that stuff as well. But theyre scared to use it because of the fare evasion boogieman.
 

HelloBostonHi

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Charlie 1.0 was an offline system, tap transactions were processed offline then uploaded to the database when vehicles returned to the yard. Cards store their value and most recent transactions on a small chip inside the card, when you tap on a bus or trolley the vehicle reads the value, deducts the fare, and writes the new value to the card. That's why if you reload your Charlie Card online you still have to go to a station for that reload to actually take effect and be written to the card. That's also why you have to tap twice while reloading a CharlieCard, once to read the current value and account status, and then again after the transaction to write the new value to the card. You don't have to do this in an online system.

Charlie 2.0 is an online account based system, meaning it works more like a debit card where you balance is stored on a server and when you tap your card it simply shares your card number. The reader then pings the server to find your account value and update it as needed. Account value changes happen in real time, and your travel history is updated in real time, and you can reload and view transactions immediately online, like the new Orca system.
Screenshot_20220602-170440_myORCA.png
 

bakgwailo

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Charlie 1.0 was an offline system, tap transactions were processed offline then uploaded to the database when vehicles returned to the yard. Cards store their value and most recent transactions on a small chip inside the card, when you tap on a bus or trolley the vehicle reads the value, deducts the fare, and writes the new value to the card. That's why if you reload your Charlie Card online you still have to go to a station for that reload to actually take effect and be written to the card. That's also why you have to tap twice while reloading a CharlieCard, once to read the current value and account status, and then again after the transaction to write the new value to the card. You don't have to do this in an online system.

Charlie 2.0 is an online account based system, meaning it works more like a debit card where you balance is stored on a server and when you tap your card it simply shares your card number. The reader then pings the server to find your account value and update it as needed. Account value changes happen in real time, and your travel history is updated in real time, and you can reload and view transactions immediately online, like the new Orca system.
Yup, this is pretty old at this point but if anyone is curious about technical details on how the Charlie Ticket and Card systems work (well, maybe used to work) and the security implications of being offline: Anatomy of a Subway Hack.
 

Stlin

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Yup, this is pretty old at this point but if anyone is curious about technical details on how the Charlie Ticket and Card systems work (well, maybe used to work) and the security implications of being offline: Anatomy of a Subway Hack.
If anyone is interested, this is the Wikipedia article about the court case the MBTA brought in an attempt to avoid publication of this vulnerability by a trio of MIT undergrads, and these are the actual slides in question from that court case, which basically provide a step by step guide to bypassing the entire system. Meanwhile, this paper upon which they were building goes into deep deep techy detail about the specific vulnerability of the Mifare Classic, which is the underlying tech behind the original London Oyster & and Charlie 1.0. Basically, they were not exactly modern payment card levels of secure, especially the magstripe cards. (I should note that this is now quite out of date - while the current Charlie & Oyster cards are still Mifare, there are new versions which are considerably more secure - though charlie 1.0 as it stands is a hardened "Classic" which still has vulnerabilities leading to manufacturer recommendations to migrate away from it dating back to 2015.)

But in summary, going online with Charlie 2.0 basically creates a multi layer authentication scheme where the card isn't the primary source of information in the system - that's hosted in the backend where it is constantly aware of card activity rather than only at end of day audits.
 
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chmeeee

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Not exactly. Charlie 1.0 had PoP in the form of paper receipts. You tapped on the platform, it printed a receipt, and you showed your paper if prompted. I believe someone said those machines are how the Franklin line PoP work.

Staff also had handheld readers to deduct fare, most commonly used at Fenway after games.
How would that be enforceable? A person that tapped on the train or entered in a faregate station would not have a paper receipt. So if you don't pay you could just claim to have tapped in elsewhere. Without an online system they could not verify that claim.
 

jass

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How would that be enforceable? A person that tapped on the train or entered in a faregate station would not have a paper receipt. So if you don't pay you could just claim to have tapped in elsewhere. Without an online system they could not verify that claim.
The card still shows the tap happened even if the revenue hasnt been processed.
 

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