I'm planning on spending a quick weekend up in Boston. Staying near the airport and planning to take the subway to get around the city. Are CharlieCards available from every station? I read older posts saying that they're only available from certain locations but I'm not sure if that still applies now. I'll be starting off at the Airport station on the Blue Line. -- Please use all available doors...you have 33 to choose from.
The card is 30 cents cheaper than the ticket, per ride. The reason they say the ticket is for infrequent users is that the ticket costs less to produce than a card, and they don't want to give them for free to every tourist who comes by if they are just going to throw it away in two days. (So if you get one, please keep it and reuse it in the future!)
The weekly pass is a good bargain at $15, depending how much you're going to be running around/how many days you'll be here, it could be worth doing. -- Join the DSLR Kiva team!
I understand the idea that tickets are better for tourists like me. I still would like to get a card for the next time I visit Boston so I can just keep reusing it. It just feels nicer to just tap and go rather than swipe (sick of swiping my MetroCard).
But the hurricane coming in this weekend may change my plans. I may just buy that $9 day pass instead and leave early on Sunday. I had originally planned to stay for half of Sunday but that's looking unlikely if the hurricane stays on it's current path. Probably not the best idea to head down I95 in 70MPH wind and rain. -- Please use all available doors...you have 33 to choose from.
It always seemed a little mean to me, charging 30 cents extra for tourists. Way to encourage people to visit!
I agree that the tap and go is much nicer than a swipe-able MetroCard. I hate having to stop and take it out of my wallet when I'm in a hurry, or at rush hour when a million people are trying to get through the turnstile at once. The CharlieCard sensors are strong enough to not just read it through your wallet, but through your pants pocket (if you are tall enough, and don't mind people thinking you have some kind of turnstile fetish). (NB: this is not recommended) -- Join the DSLR Kiva team!
Well NYC kinda does charge a surcharge for Single Rides ($0.25 over a regular MetroCard) but only people in pinch buy that instead of the ever-present MetroCard.
I did really like the tap and go Octopus card in Hong Kong when I was there for a couple weeks. Just put my wallet over the sensor and walk through. I'd like to experience that again since I won't be back in HK for a while.
I may just end up with the daily card and leave early if Irene doesn't push out into sea. Otherwise, I'll try to get a CharlieCard from a clerk in the Airport station. Hopefully they won't see me as a pesky tourist asking for a free smart card. -- Please use all available doors...you have 33 to choose from.
Thanks for the advice everyone but it looks like Hurricane Irene has put a wrench into my plans. In the interest of safety, I decided to postpone my trip. No fun driving home in a Category 2 hurricane on Sunday. -- Please use all available doors...you have 33 to choose from.
Dragging an old thread back up here but I finally visited Boston this weekend. Stayed at an airport hotel and had a quick walk to the Airport station on the T. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a CharlieCard anywhere because it seemed like many entrances were unstaffed. I just got a CharlieTicket but that also led to a few problems. Multiple turnstiles at some stations were broken or didn't take CharlieTickets. It also ate the fare and gave a See Agent message several times to a friend of mine. Stuff like that happens with the MetroCard in NY too but the CharlieTicket seemed like it was much more prone to failure.
But even though there were a few minor hiccups, riding the system and visiting the city was fine. Didn't run into any major issues or get caught by the overnight closure of the system. I'll probably visit Boston again but maybe when it's not as hot and humid as it was this weekend. -- Please use all available doors...you have 33 to choose from.