Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Commute of the New Month

Wow, when did it get to be fall already? A new season was definitely in the air this morning while waiting for the P508. This morning's commute was right on time, we arrived at South Station at 8:23 AM.

I saw this interesting article in the Herald about how the MBTA is cracking down on fake commuter rail passes. According to the article, the MBTA instituted random ticket checks using technology that allows examiners to immediately identify counterfeit tickets and passes. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure full collection of fares from every rider and hold those who try to counterfeit rail passes accountable. Interesting, I haven't seen anything on my train ... riders, do you have any observations to share?


lauren said...

I haven't seen anything on either of the trains I take (P509 and P530). However, this morning when I bought my September pass, the machine gave me two, something I failed to notice until I got to Yawkey station. I seem to have only been charged for one, but I'm really looking forward to getting back into Boston to find out if both are valid!

AJ said...

While I haven't seen anyone checking for fakes on our line, one of the guys in my office said the night before the article came out they were checking passes for fakes on his line. I actually had a conductor ask me to remove my pass from my wallet and asked if it was real. More surprising to me was when I said "Yes!" he just accepted the answer and moved on!

Essentially it's a little LED blacklight that the conductors carry. The passes should glow (I would assume at the fluorescent arrow) under the light, whereas a fake would not.

The Metro had a better article the same day as The Herald last week, both coming the morning after CBS4 reported it on the nightly news. CBS claimed they had caught 8 counterfeiters, while The Metro claimed it was 4. The Metro also listed some examples of fakes.

-People had photocopied the front of a pass and would just leave it in their wallet/holder

-Buying a Zone 3, and then using a marker to change the big 3 to an 8

-Using a marker to change the year in the top right corner, or just trying to hide the year in their holder/wallet.

Chuck said...

I've seen the conductors using the little UV flashlight checking passes at least twice in the past couple of weeks on the 260 out of Reading.