MBTA North Station showing Track 6 sign

Weekend round-up

It’s all about the fares this week: MBTA and Cleveland encounter glitches with fare enforcement and Transit app makes it easier for customers to book and pay for Uber trips.

A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail rider was arrested for trespassing after fare checkers could not read his paper pass.  The long-time commuter rail rider had a valid monthly pass but the ink had faded over the course of the month.  A reporter from the Boston Globe verified that the pass appeared to be valid, although it had “faded significantly, with orange blotches and mostly indecipherable lettering.” The rider acknowledged that he could have avoided arrest but he wanted to make a point. “I figured, OK, fine, I’ll make a principled stand,” he said. “I’ve been dealing with commuting for so long, and this is just one more thing. It’s an aggravation, and I put my foot down.” The arrest was part of a crackdown on fare evasion by MBTA commuter rail contractor Keolis. Link to full story in the Boston Globe.

In Cleveland, a municipal court judge ruled the proof-of-payment system for the HealthLine BRT service unconstitutional.  The sticking point was the use of police officers, instead of civilian fare enforcement officers, to conduct random fare checks.  The day after the ruling, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (OH) switched to front-door boarding. Unfortunately, the change resulted in delays and confusion.  RTA CEO Joseph Calabrese said that despite the timing, the change was not a direct response to the court decision. “It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time,” he said. “It’s something we’re trying. We’ll see if it’s working.” Link to full story in Cleveland.com.

Users of the Transit mobile application now have the option to request, track, and pay for an Uber trip directly through the app while also tracking their transit connections in real time. “We think one of the best ways to encourage multimodal transportation is by creating a really compelling experience,” Transit COO Jake Sion told The Transit Wire. “Rather than making users link between apps, we’re now enabling a user’s entire Uber journey to live right in Transit.”

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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