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CharlieCard at Cruise Terminal?

CharlieCard at Cruise Terminal?

Old Jul 20, 18, 7:43 pm
  #1  
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CharlieCard at Cruise Terminal?

I am arriving into Boston by cruise ship and need to take the SL2 and then transfer to the subway.
However, there appears to be no way to purchase a CharlieCard at the cruise ship terminal, so would have to pay twice to take the SL2 and the subway (no free transfer within 2 hours without a CharlieCard). The MBTA website says that there is a retail sales location at 23 Drydock Ave called "Dry Dock Exchange" but according to Google Maps this is a blue container?!? In any event, it surely will not be open on a Saturday when I arrive.

Would anybody who is in Boston be kind enough to send me TWO empty CharlieCards by mail?

Please PM if you are able to help! Thanks!
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Old Jul 21, 18, 12:39 am
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Can't help with the CharlieCard, but one thing to note is that if the transfer from the SL2 to the subway is at South Station, then you will not have to pay a separate fare. That transfer is completely behind the fare gates.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
Can't help with the CharlieCard, but one thing to note is that if the transfer from the SL2 to the subway is at South Station, then you will not have to pay a separate fare. That transfer is completely behind the fare gates.
Thanks for the reply!

I am a bit confused as from the MBTA website it says that cash purchase does not allow for transfers:
"Cash fare payments do not include transfer options to other modes of transit."

However, under Transfers on the website, it states:
"All transfers between subway lines and the Silver Line at rapid transit stations are free."

So if I pay $2.75 in cash to the driver to get on SL2 at the cruise terminal I can continue on the Red Line at South Station without any additional fare?

Thanks for clarifying.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by AEmgee View Post
So if I pay $2.75 in cash to the driver to get on SL2 at the cruise terminal I can continue on the Red Line at South Station without any additional fare?
Yes, because you don't have to pass through a separate fare gate at South Station. This is the only bus -> subway transfer in the MBTA network with that setup; at all other bus -> subway transfers, you have to pass through a fare gate. The fare gate requires payment of a whole separate fare unless you have a CharlieCard, in which case you just have to pay the difference between the bus fare and the subway fare. That's why the MBTA's website has the verbiage it does; it covers 90+% of the cases correctly.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
Yes, because you don't have to pass through a separate fare gate at South Station. This is the only bus -> subway transfer in the MBTA network with that setup; at all other bus -> subway transfers, you have to pass through a fare gate. The fare gate requires payment of a whole separate fare unless you have a CharlieCard, in which case you just have to pay the difference between the bus fare and the subway fare. That's why the MBTA's website has the verbiage it does; it covers 90+% of the cases correctly.
Thank you, LoganFlyer, for your help!!!
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Old Jul 25, 18, 6:28 am
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And although that address looks like a blue container, it might be an actual store inside a blue container. The Boston Design Center has a bunch of shops in front of the building that are inside of old shipping containers because someone thought it would be neat. The blue container is used as a sign for the address. The giant building in the back is most likely where the store is located.
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Old Aug 21, 18, 6:17 pm
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Just to provide an update on this in case anybody else in the future has the same questions as I did:

1. I contacted MBTA and asked them to send me some CharlieCards. I never got any reply. However, about a week later I received CharlieCards in the mail. Unfortunately, the cards had an expiry date just a few days after I received them (and before my arrival!) so they were essentially useless.
2. The blue container near the Boston Design Center is a shop, but it is not open on weekends (and I was there on a Saturday).
3. I ended up paying $2.75 cash (no receipt or ticket given) to get on the SL2 bus and then transferred to the Red Line at South Station behind the fare gates without paying again, exactly as LoganFlyer said.
4. I think, but am not certain, that if I had paid the SL2 bus fare with CharlieCard I would have been able to further transfer to a local bus after getting off the Red Line within 2 hours for free? That would have been useful as there were torrential downpours at the time and I didn't spend more than an hour at Boston Common before needing to take public transportation to escape the rain!
5. I got a working CharlieCard from a friendly attendant at one of the subway stations. She had a whole bunch in her pocket. I used it for the rest of my journeys.

As an aside, Boston has some of the most interesting station names. I now know the meaning of "Alewife" and "Braintree"...

Last edited by AEmgee; Aug 21, 18 at 7:11 pm
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Old Aug 22, 18, 4:41 am
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Yes. Alewife is a Native American name for herring, and Braintree is a Native American name for "where giant malls be"
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Old Aug 22, 18, 10:18 am
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Thanks for reporting back! I'm glad things went smoothly. Just to answer your one question...

Originally Posted by AEmgee View Post
4. I think, but am not certain, that if I had paid the SL2 bus fare with CharlieCard I would have been able to further transfer to a local bus after getting off the Red Line within 2 hours for free?
That is correct. As long as the second tap is within two hours of the first tap, the transfer from the subway or Silver Line to local bus is free.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element View Post
Yes. Alewife is a Native American name for herring, and Braintree is a Native American name for "where giant malls be"
LOL! In the 90s, I worked at the retail store Bradlees, which was headquarted in Braintree. Pretty much all of us who worked there agreed that Bradlees had no business being based in a town with "brain" in the name.
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Old Aug 22, 18, 5:54 pm
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Hmmm, I was at Bradlees in the 80's. I think everyone had to do penance there at some time
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Old Aug 22, 18, 10:09 pm
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Originally Posted by AEmgee View Post
Just to provide an update on this in case anybody else in the future has the same questions as I did:

1. I contacted MBTA and asked them to send me some CharlieCards. I never got any reply. However, about a week later I received CharlieCards in the mail. Unfortunately, the cards had an expiry date just a few days after I received them (and before my arrival!) so they were essentially useless.
2. The blue container near the Boston Design Center is a shop, but it is not open on weekends (and I was there on a Saturday).
3. I ended up paying $2.75 cash (no receipt or ticket given) to get on the SL2 bus and then transferred to the Red Line at South Station behind the fare gates without paying again, exactly as LoganFlyer said.
4. I think, but am not certain, that if I had paid the SL2 bus fare with CharlieCard I would have been able to further transfer to a local bus after getting off the Red Line within 2 hours for free? That would have been useful as there were torrential downpours at the time and I didn't spend more than an hour at Boston Common before needing to take public transportation to escape the rain!
5. I got a working CharlieCard from a friendly attendant at one of the subway stations. She had a whole bunch in her pocket. I used it for the rest of my journeys.

As an aside, Boston has some of the most interesting station names. I now know the meaning of "Alewife" and "Braintree"...
1. The expiry is month and year, not month and day so your cards are valid.
2. Oh well
3.
4. Yes.
5. I'm glad you were able to get one!
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