Some passengers say the MBTA is giving out free rides at a time when the agency is struggling with a multi-billion dollar debt.
Linda from West Boylston is Curious “why the MBTA is broke and yet they keep employing conductors who don’t collect tickets from passengers…I have seen numerous conductors who just don’t do the jobs they were hired to do.”
Naomi from Sharon has noticed it too. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not had to pay for a round trip into town.”
We asked the Commuter Rail’s general manager, Richard Davey, about it. “It’s something we’ve had a concerted effort, over the last six months, fully staffing our trains,” he says. “We’re also conducting training for all of our conductors and assistant conductors.”
There have even been what he calls, “secret shoppers,” anonymous riders planted to sit on trains and check up on conductors.
“We have seen a reduction in the number of complaints,” he says.
Some passengers still wonder why the system isn’t automated, especially in light of the MBTA’s financial problems. Monday, MBTA officials announced they’ll be cutting back weekend and evening commuter rail runs, in an effort to save money.
“Considering the problems the T has right now, it’s certainly surprising they aren’t making every effort to get the revenue they deserve,” said one passenger on the Readville line Tuesday.
Davey says the T is planning to implement a Charlie Card system soon. “We’re very excited for that. I think that technology will definitely help our conductors and our assistant conductors collect more efficiently.”
He said so far this month, the commuter rail’s customer service department has only had three complaints about conductors not collecting fares.
© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.