Here’s what to know about the new fare collection system on GLX

Riders will need to validate their fares before boarding a train, or use the farebox at the front of the train.

First run on the Green Line extension from Union Square station Somerville around 4:50am on Monday. seen here at the Lechmere stop. David L Ryan/Globe Staff
The GLX:

When boarding the Green Line at the new Union Square station or rebuilt Lechmere station, riders will not be met by the usual fare gates.

Instead, they will need to validate their tickets at fare vending machines, a temporary maneuver. 

This is because the new stations along the first arm of the Green Line Extension arrived before the rollout of a new fare collection system, according to MBTA officials.

“The new Lechmere and Union Square stations were designed to not have fare gates and support the future fare collection system, including tappable readers at all doors for boarding,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in a statement. “The opening of these new stations is an immediate expansion of T services, but ahead of the phased roll-out of the system-wide fare collection advancements.”


The two new stations opened for service Monday morning; eventually a second arm will bring trains into Medford.

The T is also working to bring its new fare collection system online. Starting this year, it plans to phase in boarding using contactless payment. All trains and buses are supposed to have it starting next year. It will allow people to pay at any door when boarding.

When using the new system, riders must obtain a receipt to prove they paid their fare. It requires people to tap their CharlieCard or CharlieTicket at the machine, tap “Validation” on the vending machine screen, then tap their card or ticket once more, and grab the receipt.

Riders can still use the farebox in the front of the train, but the two new stations have boarding at the center platform, Pesaturo said. This means that those passengers will not board at the front of the train and will need to walk to the front to do so.

“The MBTA encourages riders to validate at the fare vending machine prior to boarding or at the farebox at the front of the train,” Pesaturo said. “Riders who have not validated at a fare vending machine are asked to pay their fare at the farebox on board the train.”

The new fare collection system has drawn some concerns on social media.


“Good I’m glad this step is temporary,” wrote a Twitter user identified as Neil Stottler. “Adding an extra hassle like this for the long run is a good way to deter riders.”

“If you are going to make it this complicated at least make it fun,” wrote a user identified as Jorge Aguilera.” What about solving a Wordle to get your ticket validated?”


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