MTA: CharmCard a work in progress
JIn a recent email, Jerry McCann of Lutherville raised some interesting points about how the MTA's new CharmCard works on the light rail. We posted it on this blog.
Now MTA spokesman David Clark has replied on behalf of the agency. Here's what he had to say:
Machines at the Lexington Market Northbound Light Rail Station are temporarily unable to accept CharmCards due to underground utility problems. Additional notices placed on the TVM’s inform patrons that the machines currently accept “Cash Only” and CharmCard access will be available soon at that location.
Light Rail round trip purchases are unavailable for the CharmCard due to the Light Rail barrier-free fare system. When passengers touch their CharmCard to a TVM, a fare is deducted and can be electronically verified by Light Rail fare inspectors. Since Light Rail does not have faregates to track passengers leaving the system, CharmCards must be activiated at a TVM for each trip.
The MTA is reviewing the ways it provides information to Light Rail CharmCard customers. This may include changes to the website, brochures and signs.
In fact, the MTA could have and should have done a better job of explaining these quirks of the system up front. All these lapses seem to reflect an inability to see things from the customer's point of view. When will folks at MTA think beyond the Schaefer Tower?