UPDATE Oct. 12: The Times of Trenton takes up the cause.
So I’m in the Boston area this weekend, and needed to get into the city itself last evening for an event. I’ve lived in Boston and know full well the traffic-and-parking nightmare that is Saturday night there, so I decided to take the T.
I had to buy a CharlieTicket, which is available only in $5, $10 or $20 denominations. A round-trip ride was $4, which means the MBTA, along with Chicago and probably many other regional transit services where I might visit, has discovered how to wring an extra dollar out of me and countless others. I’m not a regular rider of the T, so there’s no telling when my next opportunity might be to use up that last $1 before my ticket expires (plus I can only add more money in those specific denominations). Nice gig if you can get it.
However, I am a regular rider of WMATA in Washington, D.C., where I have a SmarTrip card. A similar card, the CharlieCard, exists for regular T riders in Boston. How great would it be if there were a universal transit smart card, usable on any city transit system in the country?
We have something like that for cars, of course, so we know it’s doable. I’m just kinda peeved that cars get all the good stuff first.