Some T riders experienced a setback during this weekend’s commute, as a number of CharlieCards expired at the beginning of the new month.
According to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo, the original CharlieCards had an expiration period of five years, although the expiration dates vary, depending on the date on which the card was made.
Some of these expirations ran out Saturday, and many customers were unaware that their card would die. Passengers with an expired card then had to either wait in line for a new card, or purchase a CharlieTicket, which comes with a 50 cent surcharge in addition to the standard $2 fare.
The issue was a mere inconvenience, rather than a serious problem, according to Pesaturo. No customers lost any money, and all had the ability to transfer any stored balances from their expired cards to a new one.
Although the expirations came as a surprise to some, passengers are able to check the expiration date on their CharlieCard at any time by tapping the card at a Fare Vending Machine and using the Card/Ticket Information button, according to the MBTA website. The expiration of the card is under the general information section of the screen.
Pesaturo said the MBTA is working to better inform customers of possible expirations going forward, so as to present the sudden confusion and inconveniences many experienced this weekend.
“In addition to numerous stories in various media outlets, information has been disseminated through mbta.com and the MBTA’s twitter page,” he said. “The MBTA’s Automated Fare Collection team will explore additional methods for communicating the message to customers.”
Any customer with an expired CharlieCard can ask an employee for a new card at a majority of MBTA stations. Employees will then replace the customer’s old card with one of the new cards that carry expiration periods of ten years.