Charlie: Card & Ticket Info

CharlieCards and Tickets

Both fare media are reusable and rechargeable but the CharlieCard is more affordable, versatile and convenient.

The Card: Plastic, stored-value, online account management, and auto-reload features. Riders pay standard T fare.

The Ticket: Paper, stored-value. Riders pay standard fare plus a surcharge (*no surcharge when storing a T-Pass on a paper CharlieTicket).

CharlieCard

Reusable and Rechargeable—the easiest and most affordable way to ride.

Compare the Card and the TicketThe CharlieCard is a 'smart card' that stores value for single or multiple-rides and/or a T-pass. You load the card with value or a T-Pass using cash, credit cards or debit cards at in-station fare vending machines or at retail sales terminals, T ticket offices, and online. CharlieCards are currently available for Subway and Bus use only.

Once you add value or a T-Pass to your card, you tap your card on the card target at fare gates or on-board vehicles and value is accordingly deducted from your card. When your card runs low on value, simply visit a fare vending machine to add value and/or store a T-Pass on your card and ride as much and as often as you like.

Card users pay only the standard T fare while ticket users often pay a surcharge. Card users can also access online account management services to add a pass or value. Registered MyCharlie Account users have the additional benefit of auto-reload and loss protection.

Common Questions about the CharlieCard

  1. Can I put a T-Pass on a CharlieCard?

    Yes. A CharlieCard stores value for single or multiple rides and/or a monthly T-Pass. You can store your T-Pass on the card and load additional value for occasional travel that falls outside of your regular T-Pass privileges. If you use a T-Pass, the CharlieCard is the way to go. Other regional transit authorities' customers using CharlieCards should note that stored value loaded on buses will become available 24-48 hours after purchase.

  2. Is using the card less expensive than using a ticket?

    Yes. CharlieCard riders pay only the standard T fare while ticket and/or cash-on-board customers pay a surcharge. Using the card can save you 15-50 percent on T fares, depending how you ride.

  3. Where do I get a CharlieCard?

    • From MBTA Customer Service Agents in the following stations during the following times:
    •   Monday - Friday  Saturday Sunday
      Alewife 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Arlington 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Ashmont 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Back Bay 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Dudley Square 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Forest Hills 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Harvard Square 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Haymarket 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
      Kenmore 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 10:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Maverick 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
      4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      North Station 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Oak Grove 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Park Street 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Quincy Center 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Ruggles 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      South Station 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.  7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Wonderland 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.    

    • The CharlieCard Store is located adjacent to the Red and Orange Lines at Downtown Crossing Station. The store is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Please note: the accessible entrance is located at 32 Summer Street via the 101 Arch Street building in Boston.
    • At many retail locations: You can obtain a CharlieCard from one of these retailers: Sales Locations. Once you have your CharlieCard, you can go to these retailers to load value or a pass on to your CharlieCard.
    • Reload your CharlieCard online. Add stored value or a monthly pass to your CharlieCard now.

Still have questions about Charlie?

Read the complete Charlie FAQ, or contact Customer Support at 617-222-3200.

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CharlieTicket

Reusable and Rechargeable. Load single or multiple rides or a T-Pass on to a paper ticket. The CharlieTicket is a magnetically encoded paper ticket that stores single or multiple rides or a T-Pass.

Get the Card TodayYou load the ticket with value using cash, credit cards or debit cards at fare vending machines, retail sales terminals, or MBTA ticket offices.

Once you load value to your ticket, you insert your paper ticket at fare gates and on-board fareboxes and the system deducts value from your ticket accordingly. Your remaining value will be displayed on the farebox display screen. When your ticket runs low on value, simply visit a fare vending machine to add value or store a monthly T-Pass on your ticket and ride as much and as often as you like.

Ticket riders and riders paying cash-on-board pay the standard T fare plus a surcharge. (No surcharges apply when using a plastic CharlieCard or when storing a T-Pass on a paper CharlieTicket.)

Common Questions about the CharlieTicket

  1. Can I put a T-Pass on a CharlieTicket?

    Yes. A CharlieTicket stores value for single or multiple rides or a T-Pass. If you want to store a T Pass and additional stored value or if you want the added benefits of online card management, "No-Worries Protection" from theft or loss, and auto-reload features, we recommend that you store your T-Pass on a plastic CharlieCard.

  2. Is using the CharlieTicket more expensive than using the CharlieCard?

    Yes. CharlieCard riders pay only the standard T fare while ticket and/ or cash-on-board customers pay a surcharge. Using the card can save you on T fares depending on how you ride. (No surcharges apply when using a plastic CharlieCard or when storing a T-Pass on a paper CharlieTicket.) To avoid the surcharge and receive the added benefits of online card management, insurance from loss or theft, and auto-reload features, we recommend using the CharlieCard.

  3. Where do I get a CharlieTicket?

    CharlieTickets are available at over 500 in-station fare vending machines and at retail sales locations.

Still have questions about Charlie?

Read the complete Charlie FAQ, or contact Customer Support at 617-222-3200.

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  • Reduced Fares for Senior/T.A.P. Customers
  • Buy a Pass at a Fare Vending Machine
  • Charlie's Frequently Asked Questions
  • Get the Card

Got MyCharlie?

Upgrade your CharlieCard with a MyCharlie account and you'll be able to set up automatic monthly pass or stored-value purchases, and breathe easy knowing your card is protected from damage, loss or theft.