Is the MBTA giving free rides? - Metro US

Is the MBTA giving free rides?

Despite constant complaints over under-funding, the MBTA is reportedly giving loads of T passengers free rides.

According to an investigation conducted by CBS Boston’s I-Team, passengers on over-packed Green Line trains were recently spotted boarding the trolleys without having their Charlie Cards scanned.

The I-Team rode the C Line during the morning commute and started with a balance of $10 on a Charlie Card, according to the report.

Although reporters got on and off the train multiple times, they were not forced to scan their Charlie Card and neither were other commuters. On an emptier trip, reporters were then forced to scan their Charlie Card and pay the fare.

“It’s an incredible problem and not only is it a problem financially, it’s a problem symbolically,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, the Senate Minority Leader, according to the report.

Following the report, T General Manager Frank DePaola conducted a “Fare Collection Blitz” in Brookline in which T staff scanned Charlie Cards before riders entered the platform. DePaola told the I-Team that more than half of all customers have pre-paid monthly passes.

DePaola says the cost of more staff and the inconvenience during a busy rush hour makes it impractical to crack down more.

“Especially on the surface stations, when we open all doors, we’re sort of relying on the honesty of our customers.”

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