On Thursday, the MBTA announced that we can now manage our CharlieCards on line. By midday, the initial problems accessing the system were over, and I could set up an account for our family. We are mass transit users. We have CharlieCards for ourselves and a "guest" card that we load for friends visiting the area.
Here's a direct link to the MyCharlie Account Center.
I put all three cards on the system and have added value to one card and a monthly link pass to another. We won't be using the recurring pass purchase option because we have done the math and some months, travel or vacations make weekly passes a better deal.
So far, everything seems to be working well. The idea of no longer waiting in line at fare machines makes my day. I always seem to be behind someone inserting five dollars in quarters or struggling to figure out the system.
Now, I'll be able to click over to MyCharlie Account Center a couple of days before the 1st and load up our cards. Remember the fare is not added to the cards until 5:00 am the next morning so use a fare machine if you need to use your CharlieCard on the day of the purchase.
What do you read on the T? The Kindle makes reading while riding enjoyable.
There are limitations on what you can do with this system, but these are clearly explained on the site. Here is a summary of what you should know from the MBTA press release.
"The MBTA now offers customers the option to create a MyCharlie Account. Setting up a MyCharlie Account online and registering a CharlieCard provides customers with the option to set up recurring monthly pass purchases eliminating visits to fare vending machines; reload value onto their CharlieCard; and receive for free "No Worries Protection". Additional features of on-line technology include:
Recurring pass purchases - will be automatically charged to credit card five days prior to the end of the month.
Updating CharlieCard with latest online purchase(s) - Online purchases entered on or before midnight will be available for uploading to your CharlieCard after 5:00 a.m. the next day. To ensure fare is available for immediate use, customers must tap CharlieCard at a Fare Vending Machine, a subway Fare Gate, or at a standing or handheld Green Line Ticket Validator. CharlieCards can also be updated at T sales offices at Back Bay, Downtown Crossing, Harvard, North Station and South Station or at any retail location that sells CharlieCards.
Additional Cards - can be added for family members in various denominations.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Card - MyCharlie Account members are protected. Customers can report CharlieCard as lost/stolen or damaged by calling 1-888-844-0355. The CharlieCard will be blocked from further use and the pass or stored value remaining at that time will be transferred onto a new CharlieCard and mailed to a customer. Lost, stolen or damaged CharlieCard replacements are processed and mailed within 24 hours. 3 - 5 business days for delivery."