MBTA: Station-Based Machines Will Dispense New Charlie Chards

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Coming soon to some MBTA stations across the Boston metropolitan area: the ability to get a brand-new CharlieCard straight from the fare vending machine.

Riders have long had limited options to get the durable plastic cards that can be refilled at machines in the T's system, but a step in the transit agency's long-term fare transformation effort will soon make it easier.

The MBTA will install new fare machines at several stations this spring that can dispense the plastic CharlieCards, replacing the commonplace existing machines that could only refill a card acquired elsewhere or print a paper ticket, MBTA Director of Fare Systems Adam Veneziano told the agency's board.

"While they may not look all that different from what we've had in place for the last 15 years, they do have some important benefits for riders," Veneziano said at a Monday public meeting. "There won't be the need to run around looking for someone that may have a card."

It was not immediately clear Monday which stations would get new machines and when, though Veneziano said the upgrades would kick off in the spring.

The new infrastructure will still dispense paper tickets for certain fares, including commuter rail passes that need to be shown to a conductor. Veneziano said those paper tickets will still be tappable, though.

As part of a fare project, the MBTA is also placing new card readers on some buses and in the Ruggles and Forest Hills subway stations to test installation practices, power consumption and other factors ahead of full pilot programs.

By Chris Lisinski, State House News Service

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(Photo: Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

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