|My Charlie Card and|
an old Charlie Ticket
This afternoon Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley released a statement stating that an employee of Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. of Beverly, the company that handles all of the phone and online orders for the MBTA pass system, has been manufacturing and selling fake subway, bus, and commuter rail passes since early 2007. She also said that the employee, who was identified as Andres Malik Townes of Revere, sold these passes online at craigslist.com and in person for discounted prices.
So far the MBTA has estimated that they have lost over $2 million in revenue since 2007 and all together the 20,000 passes produced were worth over $5 Million. Also according to Coakley it is considered to be the largest scheme of its type.
These "fake" passes are being called "Ghost Passes" because of how they functioned at T fare collection machines. They looked authentic because they were and they functioned perfectly on the fare machines, but they were just not registered in the system and were not actually paid for.
Today, GM Rich Davey also announced that the MBTA will be terminating their contract with Cubic Transportation. He said the T will be taking over full control of manufacturing the passes. The T is also going to be demanding that Cubic Transportation reimburse the T for the millions that they lost.
The scheme was uncovered by an MBCR conductor on the Providence/Stoughton line in early March when he noticed a slight discoloration in a pass that was handed to him. The pass was then handed over to Transit Police who discovered that the pass worked fine, but was never registered or paid for. The funny thing was, though, was that the pass was slightly discolored because it had gone through the wash!