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Old 12-18-2007, 09:48 PM   #1
Affair on Touhy Ave.
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Default Charlie On The MTA.

I belong to a message board about Cities and regeional areas and I just learned that the transit cards used for the MTA are called Charlie Cards.

Can you believe that?
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
charlene
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

???
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:13 PM   #3
BILLW
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

Yes I can. Funny you should bring up that song. Due to a staff shortage I will be working an unusual schedule for a month and a half. When I heard the news I told my wife, actually tried to sing it, that I was gonna "be like that guy the Kingston Trio sing about"... It'd be funny if it wasn't me, LOL.

Bill
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

wow - musta hit enter at the same time, LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
???
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:16 PM   #5
charlene
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

scary huh??
lol
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

M.T.A. Lyrics
From The Kingston Trio at Large
Date: 07/01/1959
Jacqueline Steiner/Bess Hawes
Spoken:
These are the times that try men's souls. In the course of our nation's history, the people of Boston have rallied bravely whenever the rights of men have been threatened. Today, a new crisis has arisen. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, better known as the M.T.A., is attempting to levy a burdensome tax on the population in the form of a subway fare increase. Citizens, hear me out! This could happen to you!

(Eight bar guitar, banjo introduction)

Well, let me tell you of the story of a man named Charley
on a tragic and fateful day.
He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family,
went to ride on the M.T.A.

Chorus:
Well, did he ever return? No, he never returned and
his fate is still unknown.
(What a pity! Poor ole Charlie. Shame and scandal.
He may ride forever. Just like Paul Revere.)
He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston.
He's the man who never returned.

Charlie handed in his dime at the Kendall Square Station
and he changed for Jamaica Plain.
When he got there the conductor told him, "One more nickel."
Charlie couldn't get off of that train.
(Chorus)
Now, all night long Charlie rides through the station,
crying, "What will become of me?!!
How can I afford to see my sister in Chelsea
or my cousin in Roxbury?"
(Chorus)
Charlie's wife goes down to the Sculley Square Station
every day at quarter past two,
And through the open window she hands Charlie a sandwich
as the train comes rumblin' through.
(Chorus)
Now, you citizens of Boston, don't you think it's a scandal
how the people have to pay and pay?
Fight the fare increase! Vote for George O'Brien!
Get poor Charlie off the M. T. A.
(Chorus)
He's the man who never returned.
He's the man who never returned.
Ain't you Charlie?
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
charlene
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

oh good grief! that's what that is about!
lol
We've had increases every year for a couple of years now here in Durham region and in Toronto. All while the suits tell us to stop using our cars and take transit..poor Charlie would have a fit!..
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:24 AM   #8
catrinka
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) in Boston has been using the "Charlie Card" for a year, now! The card is a reusable (i.e., "refillable") plastic card which replaces the old transit cards that had to be purchased every month. Boston has been using plastic fare cards for a long time (about 30 years.) The cards offer not only a reduction in fare cost, but have a few other perks (such as allowing a second traveler on the same fare at certain times.) The Charlie Card is a new effort to get people to use public transportation by using a well-known "figure" to promote the card.

When the card was released, there was a great write-up in The Boston Globe about the name and interviews with the former band members...who were surprised at the attention they were getting as a result. Wish I had saved the article!

As a native of the area, I used the old transit cards (called a T-Pass) for many years. You could buy them directly at any MBTA station, from designated stores or from your employer. Much like using a debit card, you swipe it through a slot at the turnstile...or wave it near the sensor on the turnstile to allow you to rush to catch the subway car about to pull out of the station.

There's a woman in Boston who invented mittens with a pocket for the Charlie Card! Because the new card does not have to be swiped, all you have to do is wave your hand over the turnstile sensor to allow you to pass through! Here's the URL for her explanation about the concept:

http://www.subwayknitter.com/2007/01...ecret_wea.html

"Charlie" is a revered concept in Boston, ever since the song "Charley on the MTA" came out. Bostonians have a quirky sense of humor, so it was no surprise to me that the reinvented T-Pass got such a "kewl" name!
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
fezo
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

Oh, this is fun to see! My band that gets together a couple of times a year and actually plays maybe two or three gig in that span sill has the MTA in the mix and people still get a kick out of it. I was probably 13 when I learned it.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:26 PM   #10
Shutup and Deal, I'm Losin'
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Affair on Touhy Ave. View Post
I belong to a message board about Cities and regeional areas and I just learned that the transit cards used for the MTA are called Charlie Cards.

Can you believe that?

Seeing is believing.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:08 PM   #11
timetraveler
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Default Re: Charlie On The MTA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLW View Post
Yes I can. Funny you should bring up that song. Due to a staff shortage I will be working an unusual schedule for a month and a half. When I heard the news I told my wife, actually tried to sing it, that I was gonna "be like that guy the Kingston Trio sing about"... It'd be funny if it wasn't me, LOL.

Bill
I think the song that you may be referring to is a hilarious little tune called Super Skier. That's the only time I ever heard about Charlie cards & didn't realize that they weren't talking about an actual person.
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