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On-board T tix surcharge to rise

Commuter rail passengers be warned: if you don’t buy ahead, you’ll pay the price.

Starting Sunday, there will be a $3 surcharge for most commuter rail customers who purchase their tickets after boarding the train, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

"We believe this policy allows the MBTA to move forward in reducing the number of on-board fare collection transactions, cash handling costs, and reduces fare evasion by allowing conductors more time to verify all tickets and passes," Pesaturo said.

"By reducing the number of time-intensive on-board cash transactions, conductors are able to better allocate time towards safety, fare verification and operational responsibilities," he said.

For outbound trips departing from South, North, and Back Bay stations, ticket machines or windows are readily available.

Roughly 90 percent of outbound commuter rail trips depart from those stations.

As for other stations, Pesaturo said, most other outbound riders who board at other stops are taking interzone trips, in which case the surcharge wouldn't apply.

The MBTA eased up on its surcharge plan, which as of last week was set to charge the $3 fee across the board, regardless of where passengers boarded.

"In response to concerns raised by some legislators and customers, the MBTA has amended the new Commuter Rail fare structure, set to take effect on Sunday," Pesaturo said this morning.

T officials plan to revisit the surcharge policy in the fall when mobile ticketing is introduced to commuter rail customers.

 
 
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