Commuter rail passengers won't all face a $3 surcharge when buying tickets aboard trains after all.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced today it has modified that policy, which was to start on July 1.
Instead, the surcharge will apply only on inbound fares from stations selling tickets, and on outbound fares "from South Station, Back Bay or North Station or Zone 1A stations with ticket sales," Massachusetts Department of Transportation Legislative Director Jefferson Smith told state legislators and their staff in an e-mail Thursday.
Wednesday, to reconsider its plan to apply the surcharge to all commuter rail tickets purchased on trains, regardless of whether the station sold tickets.
The group included state Rep. Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton) and , who represent Sharon.
In his e-mail today, Smith said that "in summary, our modified policy is responsive to customer feedback and does not introduce any new complexity for our passengers.
"We are confident this change will help the MBTA continue to move towards improved customer service by reducing fare evasion and reducing the number of on-board cash transactions," Smith wrote.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said that "We believe this policy allows the MBTA to move forward in reducing the number of on-board fare collection transactions, cash handling costs, and reduces fare evasion by allowing conductors more time to verify all tickets and passes."
"By reducing the number of time-intensive on-board cash transactions, conductors are able to better allocate time towards safety, fare verification and operational responsibilities," Pesaturo said in an e-mail.
"The MBTA will revisit this policy in the fall when Mobile Ticketing is introduced to Commuter Rail customers."
Wednesday, in their letter to Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Richard Davey, the legislators said that "many of the stations do not have ticket sales anywhere but on the train, and some of those that do only sell them during certain hours, so even at those locations there will be times where the '($3) discount' is not available."
"Call it a surcharge, or say it's a lack of access to a discount, either way; commuters by no fault of their own will be forced to pay a penalty. We implore you to not let our constituents face such an unreasonable fare hike," the legislators wrote.
Sharon's MBTA commuter rail station is at 1 Upland Road.