AFC 2.0

Earlier this year the MBTA entered into a contract to update its Automated Fare Collection (AFC) system, from CharlieCards to a new system that is currently known as AFC 2.0.

CharlieCards entered service in 2006 and are now at the end of its life cycle.  The MBTA will use the system update to eliminate cash on board, which will reduce dwell times and improve operational efficiency.  The transition away from cash on board will be facilitated by the deployment of fare machines, more retail locations and new technologies which will allow for online payments, smartphone/smartwatch payments and contactless credit card payments.  The new system will enable all door boarding on the bus and the green line, by installing fare readers on all doors, allowing customers to pay a fare at any door.  AFC 2.0 will be used across all modes in the system: bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry.

AFC 2.0 will roll out in May of 2020, with full implementation expected by May of 2021.  Over the next few years the MBTA will engage with the public about new MBTA policies needed for AFC 2.0 including data privacy, access to fare cards, fare inspections and the structure of fares.

For more details visit the AFC 2.0 website, or see this presentation.

Andrew Bettinelli
Chief of Staff
Office of Senator William N. Brownsberger

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1 Comment

  1. I’m glad to see the MBTA is looking for ways to upgrade its payment system, ESPECIALLY adding all-door boarding. That will make a huge difference on the green line and buses.

    I’ve spent some time in Taiwan. There you can pay for your subway trip using a contactless “Easy Card”. You can also use it for buses, commuter trains and bike shares. It also works at convenience stores and even for buses in nearby cities (which are otherwise separate).

    Perhaps there are lessons we can learn form this.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyCard

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