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Charlie main-table-card.png
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
LaunchedDecember 4, 2006 (2006-12-04)
ManagerMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
  • CharlieTicket
  • Bike CharlieCard

The CharlieCard is the payment method for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and several regional public transport systems in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It is a MIFARE-based contactless smart card on which the passenger loads fares, and was introduced on December 4, 2006.[1] It replaces the metal token, that last of which was sold at Government Center station on December 6, 2006.[2] The CharlieCard is named after a fictional character in the folk song "M.T.A.", often called "Charlie on the MTA", which concerns a man forever trapped on the Boston subway system – then known as the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) – because he cannot pay the 5-cent surcharge required to leave the train. In 2022, the traditional CharlieCard system will be replaced with AFC 2.0, a system similar to the London Oyster Card. The new system will allow payments with contactless cards and smartphones, as well as new CharlieCards.[3]

  1. ^ Daniel, Mac (2006-11-12). "Starts and Stops—Sign of winter: plow drivers sought". Boston Globe. p. B2. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  2. ^ MBTA bids farewell to an era the last brass tokens are sold Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation. "Automated Fare Collection 2.0 (AFC 2.0) | Transforming the T | MBTA". Retrieved 3 October 2018.