Passengers boarding Green Line light-rail train

MBTA says front-door boarding is working but riders disagree

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority says that its policy to restrict light-rail boarding to the front door during off-peak periods is working, but riders say otherwise. The MBTA implemented the policy a few months ago to help fight fare evasion on the Green Line. Spokesman Joe Pesaturo said that fare evasion is down and the MBTA is collecting better data now that more customers are forced to use the fareboxes. “Service planning staff will say they have much better data for ridership, because before they were opening all doors and they had to estimate,” he told BostInno.

Will the authority extend the policy to peak-hour service? Pesaturo said it’s possible. “It is something we are looking at to roll out in some form or fashion,” he said. “Both operations and revenue collection would like to see how we progress with the current system.”

In the meantime, customers have are using social media to voice their frustrations. “This front door exit only business is adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes to an already eternal commute,” one rider tweeted. Another tried to be sympathetic, posting this observation: “I get that #MBTA is trying to nix fare-evaders, but trip is 3x longer when only front door opens.” In a related story, Universal Hub reports that some riders started a Facebook group that calls upon the MBTA to let Green Line riders use all doors all the time.  Link to full story in BostInno.

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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