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CharlieCard Info

Charlie Card and Farebox Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What will the farebox accept for fares?

A: The fareboxes accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills. It also accepts nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins. The farebox also accept smart cards which are sold at the ‘MART’ offices in Fitchburg and Gardner.

Q: Do the fareboxes give change?

A: No, exact fare should be used. However, the fareboxes will issue magnetic “overpayment” tickets that can be used for future rides only. These tickets will NOT be redeemable for cash. A minimum overpayment of 25 cents is required for ticket issue.

Q: What kind of fare cards will I be able to buy at the ‘MART’ offices?

A: ‘MART’ will be using the Charlie Card as a smart card fare media. These cards can be loaded with a bus pass (Monthly or 14 Consecutive Day) – or you can add stored value. Stored value can be used to deduct the fare directly. The balance is displayed on the farebox screen. Additional value can be added to the card by asking the driver first and then feeding when prompted cash into the farebox, or at any Sales Outlet.

Q: Is there anything else new?

A: ‘MART’ will also have smart card validator units on some of our vans which run routes such as the Winchendon Link and the Boston and Worcester shuttles. Consumers may use stored value to pay the fare on these routes or use the Intercity Bus Pass to go as far as Devens and the Littleton CR Station. ‘MART’ is instituting a new fare product with the fareboxes – a new 14 Consecutive Day Pass. This pass is half the price of the Monthly Pass and has no date restrictions.

Q: Where can I purchase my ‘MART’ Charlie Card?

A: Pass products and stored value can be purchased at the ‘MART’ Offices located at 1427R Water St (Lobby) and 100 Main Street (Ticket Agency) in Fitchburg and at 555 Main Street in Gardner (Dispatch Window).

Q: Can I still use my ‘MART’ tickets?

A: These tickets will still be accepted by the drivers after the new fareboxes are introduced. Please DO NOT put the ticket into the farebox. ‘MART’ will no longer distribute these tickets. Stored value can be placed on the fare card instead. Cash will always be accepted.

Q: Will ‘MART’ exchange my old tickets for a new fare card?

A: No, but these tickets will still be accepted. Once you’ve used up your old tickets, you can then purchase a Charlie Card.

Q: Will ‘MART’ replace my lost, stolen, or damaged fare card?

A:  No, ‘MART’ will not be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged cards.  Any MART pass products stored on this card will be lost. A damaged card that will not work on a bus, but may be readable at the Water St Offices may be subject to replacement. This will be handled on an individual basis with presentation of the “broken” card.  However, you can register your standard Charlie Card on the MBTA’s website.  This allows a consumer to obtain a replacement card within the confines of the MBTA’s regulations.

Q: What else can I do over the web with my Charlie Card?

A:  Stored value can be reloaded on the MBTA website (as well as the farebox or ‘MART’ ticket agency).  However if you do load cash stored value on  the MBTA’s website, you will have to validate the transaction at a MBTA sales ticket machine or office to be activated.  A ‘MART’ bus pass (14 Consecutive Days or Monthly) CANNOT be renewed on the MBTA website.  (The Monthly Pass renewal on the MBTA website is only for MBTA fare products only.)  The ability to renew a ‘MART’ pass online is not available.

Q: I have a Senior/TAP Disabled Charlie Card and when I try to register it tells me that the card is already registered to someone else. Why does this happen?

A: Senior and TAP CharlieCards (have the consumers picture printed on the back of the card) are pre-registered by the MBTA to the RTA, such as MART, that they send them to. When the consumer gets the card from MART it is registered to MART. To change the registration to the consumer, you must do the following:

  1. Call 1-888-844-0355
  2. Give them the 11 digit number (starts with 5-)
  3. Request access to the online portal
  4. Provide all of your information so that it will be re-registered to you

Q: Can I use the ‘MART’ Charlie Card on the MBTA system in Boston?

A: Yes, but only if you have stored value on the card – or if you load a MBTA pass product thru the MBTA website or at a MBTA reseller or ticket vending machine. ‘MART’s version of the Charlie Card allows access for three fare types – stored value (cash), MBTA pass product, and a ‘MART’ pass product.

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