AFC Project Manager
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Rob Creedon is the MBTA Automated Fare Collection Department’s farebox manager. His hard work has had a positive impact on more than just the patrons of the MBTA in the Boston area. He was an integral player in the recent success that allows CharlieCards to be accepted on the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority buses and vehicles. It is the first demonstration of Interoperability of the CharlieCard with an RTA in the state and will pave the way for the other regional agencies in Massachusetts.
Creedon also spearheaded the effort to begin acceptance of CharlieCards on the Hingham Commuter Boat route. He developed a process by using a handheld reader for the staff in Hingham and transitioned the ticket office to an automated Retail Sales Terminal to load value on to CharlieCards. He provided training and support to the Commuter Boat operators who were initially concerned that the new system would be confusing.
His work was done with little if any reward for him personally. He acted as a liaison between the farebox manufacturer, Scheidt & Bachmann, U.S.A. and the consortium of Massachusetts Regional Transit Authorities. He assisted in specification development, process resolution and technical aspects to make this a success. Creedon’s effort with Boston Harbor Cruise Lines was first met with skepticism on the part of the contractor. After a week with the new system both the contractor and the patrons have agreed that the CharlieCard system is better than a paper ticket system.
The ability to use one fare media (CharlieCard) to travel seamlessly between transportation agencies in Massachusetts had never been available before.
The fiscal condition of transit agencies throughout the country has been challenged due to funding issues as well as increases in operating costs. Smart card technology and automation of existing systems has been a useful tool in capturing fare revenue. Creedon’s hard work has allowed even the smallest Regional Transit Agency to capitalize on new fare collection technology. This has increased the amount of fare revenues for the agency but also provided customers with new flexible options in fare payments with stored value and time-based fare media built into the smart cards.
“The most enjoyable part of working in public transit and AFC specifically is seeing the fruits of a project in use every day. Seeing what you may have done well and should build on and what could have been done differently and needs work. Working in public transit allows you to work on projects that affect people of all statuses every day. Whenever a CharlieCard is used I know that I was a part of bringing that to our customers. With the way technology is moving now I can keep saying, “What’s next?”
“I am excited to see the flexibility of payment options come to public transit. Allowing customers to move regionally has been my focus lately but to be a part of allowing customers to move from state to state or internationally seamlessly will be exciting.”