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Fare Transformation

A Blue Line rider wearing a face mask passes through fare gates at Maverick Station
  • Timeline: 2017 – 2024
  • Status: In progress

The MBTA's Fare Transformation will make paying for transit easier and more convenient. Upon completion, you'll be able to:

  • Tap and board at any door with a fare card, smartphone, or contactless credit card
  • Reload using cash or credit card at vending machines at all stations and some bus stops
  • Go online to manage your account 24 hours a day
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Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Why We're Doing This Work

Our current fare payment technology and policies are outdated and overly complex. Fare transformation will completely replace this system to ensure equal access to a simplified fare payment system that works—and will work for many years to come.

The new system will also improve the T as a whole by allowing us to operate more efficiently and invest in future changes and growth, meaning that you’ll be able to get where you’re going faster.

Project Timeline

Fare Transformation will roll out in phases over the next several years. Issues that directly affect our riders will be prioritized first. Then, toward the end of the project timeline, we’ll focus on delivering system-wide benefits.

Find out what we're working on now


Phase 1: Key frustrations addressed

2020

A CharlieCard-only gate at MGH, part of a field test for the new Fare Transformation project

Phase 2: Easier to get a CharlieCard

Starting in 2021

A woman taps her card on a fare vending machine to add value
  • Get a CharlieCard at fare vending machines in any subway station
  • Apply for or renew a reduced fare CharlieCard more easily (Senior CharlieCards, youth passes, blind access cards, and Transportation Access Passes)
  • See fares being collected consistently on Commuter Rail using gates at terminal stations
  • Field test of the new reader technology

Phase 3: New ways to pay

Starting in 2022

A rider taps their phone at one of the new CharlieCard reader prototypes installed on bus routes 28 and 39
  • Tap using a contactless credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay on select subway lines and bus routes
  • Rear-door boarding at our busiest bus stops along select bus routes
  • Pilot for the new Charlie website and mobile app begins
  • Get the new Charlie Card at a growing number of retailers

Phase 4: Faster bus and Green Line trains

Starting in 2023

A Green Line train pulls into a station
  • Tap using your phone, contactless credit card, or the new Charlie Card on all subway lines and bus routes
  • Board at any door on buses and Green Line trains
  • Use the new Charlie website or mobile app to manage your account and reload on the go
  • Get the new Charlie Card and reload at many bus stops and even more retail locations

Phase 5: Seamless payments on all modes

Starting in 2024

A rider taps the new Charlie Card at one of the CharlieCard reader prototypes installed on bus routes 28 and 39
  • Use the same payment method to tap and transfer between all MBTA modes
  • More robust account management for employers and self-service options for riders
  • Improved overall service from better ridership and revenue data

What We're Doing Now

Learn more about the upcoming work we're doing as part of the Fare Transformation project and how it may affect your commute.

Upcoming Events

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Past Events

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Contact Information

For all queries and comments related to Fare Transformation, please contact us at charlie@mbta.com or 857-308-2322.

Share Your Feedback

We're asking the public to help guide our decisions as we roll out the Fare Transformation project over the next several years.

Find out how to get involved

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Share Your Feedback

We're asking the public to help guide our decisions as we roll out the Fare Transformation project over the next several years.

Find out how to get involved