Station runs out of cards; delivers more

David Taber

FOREST HILLS—In the weeks following the unveiling of a new commuter bike cage at the Forest Hills T Station, station patrons looking to pick up new “Bike CharlieCards” that allow access to the cage would have been out of luck.

On Sept. 29, the MBTA unveiled a new bike-parking cage at Forest Hills Station. Based on press materials from the event, the Gazette reported on Oct. 9 that commuters would be able to access the cage, which has space to lock 100 bicycles for free with a Bike CharlieCard, a special version of the stored-value electronic CharlieCard many commuter use to pay for rides on the transit system.

Cards were supposed to be available at the customer service desk at the Forest Hills Station. On Oct. 13, though, a T rider contacted the Gazette to say a Forest Hills customer service agent told him no cards were available.

Gazette efforts to get a Bike Charlie Card on the morning of Oct. 26 were also unsuccessful.

That morning, there were three bikes parked in the cage and at least 15 parked on nearby racks outside.

In response to Gazette inquiries about the availability of the electronic cards, Pesaturo said a new batch would be delivered to Forest Hills Station Oct. 27.

In the days following the opening of the cage, 250 cards were distributed at the station, he said.

“Station staff should have notified a supervisor that the initial allotment of Bike CharlieCards had been depleted. We have re-instructed station staff to make sure they notify a manager when the supply of Bike CharlieCards is getting low and needs to be replenished. Such a system has been in place at Alewife for over a year without any reports of cards not be available,” Pesaturo said.

The cards are also available on the mezzanine level at the Downtown Crossing T Station, according to a sign posted on the door of the bike cage.

Correction: The print version of this story said the Forest Hills bike cage cost $4.8 million. That figure is actually the amount the MBTA plans to spend on bike bike improvements throughout the transit system.

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