More from How to Pay Your Fare
Read our step-by-step guides to paying your fare on each MBTA mode, and find info about transfers, where to buy tickets, and more.
How to Pay Your Commuter Rail Fare
Before your trip
On the Commuter Rail, conductors will verify your fare after you board the train. We recommend buying your ticket ahead of time, but you can purchase it on board the train in cash.
Tip! During Fare Is Fair events, cash payments on board the train are not accepted. Your ticket will be checked on the platform before you board.
Commuter Rail ticket prices are based on how far you are traveling between designated Zones.
First, choose how you'll pay your fare
CharlieTickets are reusable paper passes that can be loaded with single ride, round trip, or monthly passes. Reduced fare CharlieTicket holders can also buy 10-ride tickets.
CharlieTicket holders with monthly Commuter Rail passes can transfer to some additional MBTA modes for free.
mTicket is a mobile app that allows you to purchase single ride, round trip, 10-ride, or monthly passes on your smartphone.
mTicket monthly passes are $10 less than the CharlieTicket fare.
mTicket fare payments do not include transfers to other modes.
CharlieCards may be issued to customers who buy monthly Commuter Rail passes online or get their pass through their employer. It provides the same benefits as a pre-printed CharlieTicket.
CharlieCard holders with monthly Commuter Rail passes can transfer to some additional MBTA modes for free.
Conductors will issue paper tickets to customers who pay in cash onboard the train. Please note that if you board the train at a station where you can purchase a ticket before boarding, you will pay a $3.00 fee.
Cash payments are not accepted onboard the train during Fare Is Fair events. Your ticket will be verified before you get to the platform.
Cash fare payments do not include transfers to other modes.
Then, choose where to buy your ticket or pass
Single ride, round trip, 10-ride, and monthly Commuter Rail passes for all Zones are available on the mTicket App.
Credit and debit cards accepted.
Watch the video below for instructions:
Fare Vending Machines
Single-ride, round trip, and monthly Commuter Rail passes (up to Zone 8)* are available at fare vending machines, which are located at all subway stations and the Lynn and Worcester/Union Commuter Rail stations.
*Interzone tickets and passes are not available.
Most machines accept cash and major credit/debit cards. Some machines only accept credit/debit cards and are clearly marked to indicate they don’t accept cash.
Visit the Pass Programs website to buy monthly Commuter Rail passes for all zones.
Credit and debit cards accepted.
Retail Sales Locations
You can purchase single-ride, round trip, and monthly Commuter Rail passes up to Zone 8 at retail sales locations around the Greater Boston and Providence area.
Cash and credit/debit cards accepted.
When you're ready to board the train
The conductor will verify your fare payment after you board the train. The only exception to this is during Fare Is Fair events, when they will check your ticket before you board.
The conductor may tuck a small piece of paper on the seat back in front of you to indicate that you paid your fare.
Pay with a prepaid ticket or pass
Show your ticket or pass to the conductor.
Pay with mTicket
- Open the mTicket App.
- Activate the ticket you would like to use.
- Show it to the conductor for verification.
Pay in cash on board*
- Tell the conductor you would like to pay in cash. They need to know where you are going, as well as whether you’re going 1 way or round trip.
- Pay the conductor. Keep in mind this may include a $3.00 fee depending on where you boarded the train.
- The conductor will give you a paper ticket that lists your origin and destination. If you’re taking a round trip, keep this ticket for your return trip.
*Not available during Fare Is Fair events.
When you arrive
You don’t have to validate your ticket when you reach your destination.