Boston subway riders use a "CharlieCard" to pay their fares. Who's Charlie?
Yesenia was the first to know it was named after the folk song "Charlie on the MTA" and if Yesenia can send me an address and a preferred T-shirt size, I can send out a Sun-Times t-shirt. You can send by the blog or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The Boston subway system named its electronic card-based fare collection
system the "CharlieCard" as a tribute to a 1948 song called "Charlie on the
MTA" by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes. The Kingston Trio had a hit
with the song in 1959. The song tells of a man named Charlie who can't get
off the Boston subway because he didn't bring a nickel for the exit fare.
The chorus goes like this:
Did he ever return,
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearn'd
He may ride forever
'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned.
The abiding mystery of the song is that every day, Charlie's wife hands him
a sandwich "as the train goes rumbling through." So why doesn't she hand him