On Monday, the WRTA switched from paper tickets to the Charlie Card.
“It’s convenient, effective and efficient, but whenever you have any sort of change, there’s going to be some problems in the transition but so far most people seem to like it,” said WRTA’s customer service employee Mike Moore.
It’s the same pass that’s used on the MBTA.
Riders can load money onto the card or they can purchase a monthly pass.
What would really have made sense is if maybe RIPTA had started accepting Charlie cards. That way you could have a super regional transit pass that works on all systems touched.
I actually asked about the possibility of RIPTA’s fare collection being compatible with the MBTA back when their capital request for new fare-boxes was presented. But they said the process was too far along and the need for MBTA related coordination was too limited to warrant a change. But now that there is MBTA service to Providence from the south, the lack of coordination makes it tougher for example to accept transfers in Providence from the train station to Kennedy Plaza or beyond (such as to the hospitals) which limits the usefulness of the commuter rail – who would want to have to pay another $2 for such a short ride? Though a lot of downtown is walkable from the station, bad weather or a lot to carry could make transfer useful. A lack of Charlie card access to RIPTA also makes it less likely anyone would choose transit on the Prov-Airort-Wickford corridor if their schedule was such that sometimes the bus service was better for them, sometimes the train.
Lack of regional thinking once again!
The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority is also getting Charlie Cards starting next week.