Mar 7, 2023 - News

MBTA hits pause on modernizing fares

Photo: Carlin Stiehl/Boston Globe via Getty Images

The MBTA was supposed to have a modern fare collection system up and running by 2021, but the Healey administration is once again tapping the brakes to reevaluate the project that's already years behind schedule.

Driving the news: The 2-month-old Healey-Driscoll administration has already done a preliminary review of the project to assess its status and timeline, according to an MBTA spokesperson.

  • But based on the contractor's most recent schedule, the project is unlikely to hit its 2024 target, T spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said in a statement.

Why it matters: Updating and standardizing how the T collects fares would make the system more accessible by letting riders use new passes, credit cards or their cell phones to board.

  • You could pay upon entry on vehicles with multiple doors like the Green Line and buses, which would speed up boarding.
  • One pass, credit card or mobile phone account would work on the subway, commuter rail, buses, trollies and ferries.

Flashback: The T hired Cubic Transportation Systems in 2017 to build the new system for $723 million, with hopes installation would start in mid-2020.

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