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  • Aug 18, 2015, 01:41 PM
    Help using Boston's MBTA system
    I hate having to ask this, because I really thought I was smart enough to figure this out on my own, but obviously I'm not.

    Iím from the western U.S, Iíve never used public transportation before, and Iím having trouble figuring out the Boston MBTA rail system.

    My problems:

    1. I bought a plastic Charlie Smart Card with a week pass paid for from a local distributor. I want to put more money on it (Iím a student and will be receiving a pass for the fall, so I just need enough money to last me through the end of August and I donít ride that frequently). I thought I would just casually refill it online, but I got an error message telling me that my card is not applicable for the service. Can anyone tell me why TF this is and what type of card would be?

    2. So, since I canít refill my card, I thought I would use the MBTA app to purchase tickets for the rail when I need to. However, this time the only options for ticket areas are bus stop locations, not rail stations. The website says it is for rail tickets. Iím trying to get from the Riverway Station to the Museum of Fine Arts station, and back again, but the only stops that show up are the Backbay/Forest Hills and after that I gave up. Will the rail operators care if I purchase the bus stop locations, since they are all in Zone 1A anyway? Is that what Iím supposed to do anyway?

    I realize I could just pay in cash, which is what I suppose I will end up doing, but I would like to get this figured out for the future.

    Thank you all for entertaining my (probably ridiculous) question.
  • Aug 18, 2015, 05:55 PM
    I haven't lived in Boston since 1974 or so, when I moved to Cambridge til 1994 and rarely took the T into Boston.
    My only comment is that to me, 'rail' meant trains, the real trains with the wide purple stripe. Everything else was either 'subway' or 'trolly.'
    I don't recall a Museum station at all. Just one of countless stops as needed on the trolly above ground.

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