Friday, August 31, 2007

Another tale of the MBTA

Should've made this last month, but life gets busy...

I was taking the Commuter Rail home; the Rail caters to a slightly more sophisticated clientele, since these are people using the train to get from the homes in the suburbs to their downtown Boston jobs.

So I figure this would be a great place for the CharlieCard. If anything, they must've started it's use here, right?

Well, no.

I pull out my CharlieCard to show to the attendant as he comes through the train to collect the fare. I expected him to have a portable reader, which would be less expensive than the new readers-plus-gates that they use to let people on and off the subway.

"What's that?" he said, acting as if I had tried to pay him using a dead frog.

"A CharlieCard," I said.

"No it isn't," he said.

"It says 'CharlieCard' right on it."

"It's not a CharlieCard. It's a receipt."

I pulled out the other item I got, which had "receipt" printed on it, and asked him what the difference was between the two items.

"I don't know what you're trying to pull, but the fare's $5.75."

Well, okay. I paid in cash.

So not only does the Commuter Rail not accept the Charlie Card, their workers can't even recognize it.