One thing I’ve always found weird about the T is that you can’t buy a monthly pass whenever you want. Suppose that on the last day of February, I decided that I wanted to get a monthly pass for February. That’s $60. Surely no one in his right mind would do that, right? But suppose I wanted to. Why would the MBTA stop me from giving them $60 for a day’s worth of rides?
Likewise, I have this habit where, if I get a small windfall (a particularly large contracting check, say), I try to find upcoming expenses that I should pay so that the money doesn’t burn a hole in my pocket. So I was in the T station the other day and decided that I’d put April’s T pass on my CharlieCard. The machine told me that I couldn’t do this, because only tickets up to March were available.
Suppose I wanted to buy passes a year in advance. Why wouldn’t the MBTA want that? They’d get about 720 of my hard-earned dollars, which they could put in a bank and earn interest on. I guess they’d have to add a bit more code to their kiosks, but that seems like a small price to pay.
While they’re at it, how about allowing recurring payments through their website, so that I don’t even *have to* interact with their kiosks?
Oh, and also: how about having their commuter-rail-ticket-dispensing machines ask you which *town* you’re going to, rather than which *zone?* I have no idea which towns are in which zones.
They do allow you to put value or a monthly pass on your CharlieCard online, no kiosk required. Not recurring, and doesn’t cover anything but the T and the local bus yet, and it was supposed to have happened in 2008 but didn’t until late 2009, but it’s better than not at all.
Yeah – I thought it was weird that I paid for a “January Monthly Pass” in the 2nd week of the month, and was still charged $60. Why not pro-rate? Was it too hard to code? Or why not give me “30 days” instead of end on the calendar month?
I do like that during the last week of the month, I can buy my pass for the next month. But once the office moves over to Lechmere, it’ll actually be cheaper (even with gas included) for me to just drive down and park next door than to take the T or Commuter Rail.
The town/zone problem is a matter of what you want to educate people about, or perhaps what people are most equipped to educate themselves on. I would never have known that I needed a 2 Zone SEPTA pass had I not been told. I had to find out by telling them which station I was going to. So in that case, the zones idea didn’t map to my understanding of things.
Yeah, the machines need to ask you, “Which city are you going to?” then inform you of the zone. The fact that they don’t currently do this is related to this city’s problem with signage.
One thing I really like about living in NYC: The MTA’s equivalent for month long passes is a 30-day pass which starts counting from the first time you use it. Not even the first time you buy it. One of the few things the MTA does right.