Just got a e-mail from someone who works at the Harvard University News Office and they have had a very trying day with riders who found their pass didn’t work this morning when taking the one of the express buses.
The problem is simple to explain but how the T (or the employer) plans to correct it remains to be seen.
This link is the information Harvard University sent to employees concerning the new system. (PDF). It states that anyone who had a SUBWAY, COMBO or COMBO PLUS pass in 2006 would be automatically converted to a LINK PASS in 2007.
Mass General Hospital did the same thing.
For the riders who simply used the Rapid Transit lines everything was fine but the express bus riders found that their passes were rejected by the new fareboxes. The problem stems from the fact that between 2004 and the end of 2006 the T’s Combo pass was accepted for payment on the express buses. It was only supposed to offer a $2.20 discount on the express bus but that was never enforced.
Monthly Combo Pass – $71
The monthly Combo Pass entitles the holder to unlimited travel on almost all rapid transit service and all local bus service.
Unlimited travel on the Green, Orange, Blue and Silver lines
Unlimited boarding on the Red Line except Quincy Adams and Braintree. (Exit fare at Quincy Adams and Braintree still apply)
Unlimited travel on all regular local, zoned local and Crosstown (CT) bus routes
Unlimited travel within Commuter Rail zones 1A and 1B
$2.20 discount on express bus routes
Monthly Combo Plus Pass – $79
The monthly Combo Plus Pass entitles the holder to unlimited travel on all rapid transit service, all local bus service, and inner harbor ferry service.
Unlimited travel on the Blue, Orange, Red, Green and Silver lines
Unlimited travel on all local, zoned local and Crosstown (CT) bus routes Unlimited travel within Commuter Rail zones 1A and 1B
Unlimited travel on inner harbor ferries
$2.50 discount on express bus routes
Now under the 2007 fare schedule you have
Inner Express Bus
$89/month Unlimited travel on Inner Express Bus PLUS all Subway, Local Bus, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A.
Bus routes: 170, 325, 326, 351, 424, 426, 428, 434, 441, 442, 448, 449, 450, 455, 459, 501, 502, 503, 504, 553, 554, 555, 556, and 558.
Outer Express Bus
$129/month Unlimited travel on Outer Express Bus PLUS all Inner Express Bus, Local Bus, Subway, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A.
Bus routes: 352, 354, 355, 500, 505.
But unless you told your employer to change the plan you received a Link pass which is not valid on the express buses.
So it is easy to see how the mistake was made as it is clear the employers were not given clear and concise information on the pass changes. Now what remains to be seen is will the T decide to honor the passes that were issued for one month and make sure everybody has the right pass next month? Harvard and Partners are 2 of the biggest employers the T deals with and they can not be happy this evening.