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Tap to Ride with Reduced Fares

Screenshot of charlie.mbta.com the Charlie landing page and the digital assistant pop out in the bottom right corner

With the new MBTA fare system on bus and subway, riders enrolled in reduced fare programs will be able to link their benefits to their contactless credit/debit card, phone, or watch. The Charlie digital assistant—which will be located at the bottom right of the Charlie website—can help you in a few easy steps.  

Riders enrolled in any of the following reduced fare or free programs are eligible:

  • Blind Access CharlieCard
  • Senior CharlieCard
  • Transportation Access Pass
  • Youth Pass

This process is only recommended for reduced fare riders who pay as they go. Once the new system launches in summer 2024, riders who use weekly or monthly passes should continue to use their CharlieCard.

How to Use the Charlie Digital Assistant 

Before you can connect your benefits to other payment methods, the Charlie digital assistant will guide you through a few steps.

Make sure that you have your reduced fare CharlieCard on hand.

Step 1: Enter your Charlie account information

Once you log into your Charlie account, the new Charlie system will allow you to register your contactless cards, phone or watch. 

If you don’t have an account, the digital assistant will help you create one.

Step 2: Verify your reduced fare benefits

The digital assistant will prompt you to enter your birthdate and reduced fare card number to confirm your benefits. 

Most reduced fare CharlieCard numbers are located at the bottom left, as shown in the example below.

Blind Access Card numbers circled at the bottom left

Note: Information provided to the Charlie digital assistant is secure. This information is only used to verify benefits.

Step 3: Link your benefits to your contactless card

You can select a contactless debit or credit card that's already on file, add a new physical card, or add a card from your mobile wallet.

You can only link your benefits to one contactless credit/debit card, phone, or watch at a time.

Note: Your reduced fare CharlieCard will remain active. You should continue to use it to pay your fare on modes where the new Charlie system is not available, such as Commuter Rail and ferry.

Step 4: Tap to Ride

Once you're ready, you'll be able to tap your contactless card, phone, watch, or your existing reduced fare CharlieCard to pay your fare.

Be sure to use same payment method each time you travel so you can be charged correctly.

Customer Support

If you need help using the digital assistant or have questions, the Charlie digital assistant will guide you to the customer support form.

Upcoming Fare Projects

Learn more about upcoming fare projects

Reduced Fares

Rider entering fare gate

Some customers are eligible for reduced fares or can ride the T for free.

Learn more about reduced fares

Upcoming Fare Projects

Learn more about upcoming fare projects

Reduced Fares

Rider entering fare gate

Some customers are eligible for reduced fares or can ride the T for free.

Learn more about reduced fares