Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CharmCard Enters Regional Testing Phase

The video is from WBAL, hope you enjoy!

The CharmCard, MTA Maryland's new smart card is now entering the second phase of its testing. Phase I included tests on the Metro Subway, with Phase II adding the Bus lines and the WMATA services. This phase will run through June, and ideally the Light Rail will be brought on in later testing. The kinks of woring the new CharmCard with the Light Rail has not been worked out.

Other systems that use proof-of-payment riding like the Light Rail, that already have smart cards use different types of technology to collect fares. Some lines have Fare readers on the platforms that riders pust "tap" their card to before getting onto the train. Others have these fare readers onboard where riders tap on their way on and off. In both cases Fare Inspectors carry hand-held readers to confirm if riders' cards are valid. This is potentially what MTA Maryland will have to do.

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