Expiration date on T cards?

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Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

I bought one of the new(ish) 10 ride passes for the T. On the front it seems to indicate the pass is good for 2 years. ON the back the print says 1 month from issue. Anyone know which is the case?
Thanks.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Plastic card or paper tickets?


Steven
Participant
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If you bought a ConnecTix (made of paper, not plastic), this site says it expires in 30 days.

If it’s a plastic ConnectCard, I’m not aware that they ever expire.

If you bought a ConnecTix and weren’t told in advance about the expiration date, please complain.


Mr. Destructicity
Participant
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Just to complicate things further, when you actually use a ConnectTix at the farebox it clearly shows the expiration date as being in two years and not thirty days.

So I would wager the Port Authority has no idea either.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Paper, so ConnectTix.

Thanks for the info. Typical Pittsburgh, ha!


Steven
Participant
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I called them and was told there’s no expiration date right now, but they’re planning to eventually make them expire in 30 days.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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*facepalm*
They gotta make it complicated, don’t they?


salty
Participant
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Not sure what the thinking is behind the expiration date… although when I’ve bought MTA cards in NYC I never paid attention to whether they expire or not.

AFAIK there’s no charge for the plastic card yet so I don’t see any advantage to buying the paper cards. The balance protection stuff is nice, I just threw $100 on my card and don’t have to worry about losing it. I guess it takes up a bit extra thickness in my wallet (which is actually an issue)…


Mr. Destructicity
Participant
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The only advantage to the paper cards is that you can buy them right at the machine instead of having to truck yourselves over to the Downtown service center or a Giant Eagle.


cburch
Participant
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its really pretty simple. paper cards are easier to get and designed for short term users, tourists or someone visiting family or without their normal transportation for a week or two. plastic cards are for long term users.


Benzo
Participant
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I’m looking forward to the day when the connect card website is open to all users to load value on to cards and check balances. Currently it’s on beta for regular users of a few routes.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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FWIW my card still works 2 months later.


Steven
Participant
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I’m in the beta for the ConnectCard website. Unless they change it before release, it’s far easier to use one of the ConnectCard machines for anything the machines can handle. A few of the issues:

After logging in, you have to select which card you want to do stuff to, even if you only have one card. And you have to reselect before every operation. Select card, check balance, select card, add money.

Your balance doesn’t appear on the main page. To see your balance, you have to go to a page that lists your recent transactions. It takes about 40 seconds to load that page. Don’t do something else while you wait though, because the site logs you off automatically after 5 minutes or so.

The transactions page where you can see your balance shows 5 transactions at a time in a small box, and you have to click to see another 5 out of the 20 total it records. A transaction includes “used a pass” and shows the name of the garage the bus operates out of, but not the bus route.

When you try to buy something, it first auto-opens a PDF document with their terms and conditions. If the site complains about something on the order page, like a charge that didn’t go through, it opens a second copy of the PDF document. When a charge fails due to a communication problem at their end, which seems to happen a lot, you get another PDF copy each time you try.

The site is full of jargon. For instance, after selecting which of your (one) cards to use, you get buttons for “Action List” and “Transaction”. My Action List reports one item, a Change Function action that happened last year. And here’s their explanation of one of the types of pass renewals you can select: “The time-based product on your ConnectCard will get a new validity for the actual month the first time you use this product in the new month.”

I reported these and many other issues some weeks ago, but nothing’s changed since then. Hopefully they’ll fix some of this before they foist it on the public.

On the other hand, the machines seem to work fine, apart from the issue with printed receipts getting stuck. (You often get the receipt of the machine’s previous customer.)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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As a data point, I’ll add my 2 cents. I have the opposite extreme, the annual pass subscription. I handed them $1,608.75 all at once for 12 months of Zone 2. Whether I ride it twice a day or 10 times a day, it’s done and dealt with. Tap the orange thing on the farebox, and I’m paid. No thought, no difficulty. It’s a pile of money, true, but between that and the bike, nearly all my routine transportation needs are met through the end of February.

If you’re going to ride rather regularly and can come up with that much all at once, I recommend going that route.

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