The Youth Pass Program, a partnership between the T and participating cities and towns, offers reduced fares to young adults with low income.
Youth Pass CharlieCards can be loaded with cash value, for roughly 50% reduced one-way fares, or $30.00 monthly LinkPasses.
Youth Pass is not valid on Commuter Rail, Express Buses, or ferries.
You may be eligible for a Youth Pass if you meet these 3 requirements:
- You live in a participating city or town
- You are between 18 and 25 years old
- You are enrolled in an MBTA-approved benefits, education, or job training program
Individuals between 12 and 18 years old who are not enrolled in middle or high school may also be eligible for Youth Pass.
- Check the list of participating cities and towns below, and contact your participating city or town for an application or to schedule a meeting.
- Follow the instructions provided by your participating city or town and gather required documents such as proof of age or proof of program enrollment. See examples of eligibility documents. Note: Submitting an application doesn’t guarantee eligibility.
- Bring your application and supporting documents to your participating city or town to finalize the process in person.
- After your eligibility is determined and you've signed the program's terms and conditions, you will receive a Youth Pass CharlieCard to take home with you.
Youth Pass CharlieCards expire on November 1 each year, regardless of when they were received, so you’ll need to go through these steps to re-enroll each year.
Participating Cities and Towns
Cities and towns interested in joining the program should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town of Brookline, Transportation Division Office
333 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Brookline, MA 02445
- Monday – Thursday, 8 AM – 5 PM
- Friday, 8 AM – 12:30 PM
Walk in for an appointment.
City of Cambridge, Department of Human Service Programs
51 Inman Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
- Monday, 8:30 AM – 8 PM
- Tuesday – Thursday, 8:30 AM – 5 PM
- Friday, 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Email or call to schedule an appointment.
Visit Find It Cambridge for more community resources.
City of Everett, Department of Health and Human Services
90 Chelsea St
Everett, MA 02149
- Monday, 8 AM – 4 PM
- Tuesday – Thursday, 8 AM – 5 PM
- Friday, 8 AM – 12 PM
- Steve Supino (Executive Director of Health & Human Services)
- (617) 394-2260
Walk-ins welcome. Check in at the front desk for application information.
Lexington Community Center, Department of Human Services
39 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA 02421
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Walk in or call Human Services.
City of Malden, Mayor’s Office
17 Pleasant Street, 4th Floor
Malden, MA 02148
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9 AM – 3 PM
- Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
- Elaina Savino
Email to schedule an appointment.
Our Youth Pass Partner serves multiple communities on the North Shore. Participating communities include:
- Manchester by the Sea
Find North Shore Community College, Student Financial Services at these two campuses:
Health and Services Building, Room DH-260
1 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA 01923
Student Financial Services
300 Broad Street
Lynn, MA 01901
- Antonella Arias Jimenez
- email@example.com (email preferred)
Learn more about Here to Help, run by the Student Support and Advising Center
City of Somerville, Department of Health and Human Services
50 Evergreen Avenue
Somerville, MA 02145
- Monday – Wednesday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
- Thursday, 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM
- Friday, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Email or call to schedule an appointment.
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
127 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM
- Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM – 3 PM
Earlier or later times are available upon request.
Email or call to schedule an appointment.
How to Use Your Youth Pass
You can load cash value or $30.00 monthly LinkPasses onto your Youth Pass CharlieCard. To pay your fare, simply tap your card on the fare box target at any fare gate or onboard fare box.
You can use your Youth Pass like a CharlieCard, and add cash value at:
- Fare vending machines
- Onboard fare boxes
- MBTA retail sales locations
- The CharlieCard Store at Downtown Crossing
When you tap your card to pay your fare, you’ll pay a roughly 50% reduced one-way fare.
Note: You cannot add cash value to your card online.
You can add a $30.00 monthly LinkPass to your Youth Pass at any fare vending machine, MBTA retail sales location, or at the CharlieCard Store at Downtown Crossing. LinkPasses are valid for unlimited travel on the subway and bus for 1 calendar month.
Please note that you cannot add monthly LinkPasses to your card online.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can prove your enrollment by showing an official document from an eligible program, such as a letter of enrollment or a program-specific card (like MassHealth or EBT). All programs will be able to provide you with a letter of enrollment or eligibility if you ask for one.
Being a college student does not automatically qualify you for a Youth Pass, even if you receive financial aid. But you may be eligible if you are enrolled in one of the approved programs.
You may be eligible if you have verified that your school does not provide Student CharlieCards. We prefer that middle and high school students access reduced fares via the Student Pass Program, but if you’re sure that your school does not provide this option, then you are eligible for a Youth Pass. Please make sure to let your Youth Pass location know which school you attend so that they can relay the information to us.
Each participating city or town has their own application process. You may be able to fill out the application online. If not, you can request that the contact at your participating city or town send you a PDF application via email, or you can fill out the application on-site.
You will be required to sign the program’s terms and conditions on the application form in order to be accepted. The terms and conditions list the rules of the program for participants. Among other things, you will need to affirm that you are not eligible for a middle or high school Student CharlieCard and that you will give up your Youth Pass card if you become eligible for a Student CharlieCard. You’ll also need to agree to not allow anyone else to use your card. Any violation of the terms and conditions may result in removal from the program and card deactivation.
You will need proof of identity and age, address, and—if you are between 18 and 25 years old—you will need proof of program enrollment in one of our MBTA-approved programs.
Proof of identity and age can be demonstrated using any of the following documents:
- Copy of birth certificate
- Photo ID (Massachusetts ID, Passport, School ID) with date of birth
- School record or other state record that includes date of birth
- Visa, residency, or other immigration document with date of birth
For those between 18 and 25 years old, you must also bring proof of enrollment in an MBTA-approved program, such as a letter of enrollment or a program-specific card (e.g., EBT or MassHealth).
Each participating city or town sets its own guidelines for verifying proof of address.
Each participating city or town has a specific location where you can apply and/or pick up a Youth Pass CharlieCard (if eligible).
Check with your participating city or town to see if any alternative hours are possible.
Most Youth Pass locations require that you either fill out an application online or complete it in person after calling/emailing to schedule an appointment. We recommend that you call or email your participating city or town to set up an appointment so staff can set aside time for you.
Cities or towns must agree to participate in the program. Some cities or towns may not participate because there is no MBTA bus or train service in that area. If you live in a city or town with MBTA bus or subway service that does not participate in the Youth Pass program, encourage them to sign up by getting in touch with city officials and asking them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Pass CharlieCard
If a fare gate or fare box says that your card is inactive or if you are not allowed through, first check to see if the card is damaged or cracked. If your card is not damaged or cracked, we recommend tapping the Youth Pass on a fare vending machine (instead of a fare gate/fare box) to see the expiration date of the card on the screen. If nothing appears on the screen, then the pass is either broken or de-magnetized. For broken, de-magnetized, or expired cards, reach out to the contact at your city/town to get a replacement card.
Other reasons why your card may not be working include:
- That it was double-tapped at a fare gate within the 15 minute window. If this happens, you must wait 15 minutes before you can tap another fare gate
- That it was deactivated (either on accident or on purpose) by administrators at your city/town or the MBTA. If you believe your card was deactivated by accident, reach out to the contact at your city/town to receive a replacement card
Only the assigned cardholder can use a Youth Pass CharlieCard. Prior to receiving a card, you must sign the MBTA Youth Pass terms and conditions, agreeing to (among other things) not allow anyone else to use your card. A violation of any of the terms and conditions may result in removal from the program and card deactivation.
If your Youth Pass CharlieCard is lost or stolen, you must report the card as lost/stolen to your city/town. Your card will be deactivated immediately, and a replacement card will be issued to you. Make sure to note the serial numbers of both cards in case you need to transfer a balance or pass.
Yes, you can transfer the balance or pass from an old card onto a new card by bringing your replacement card to the CharlieCard Store at Downtown Crossing. You must have both your old and new card serial numbers on file in order to have a balance/pass transferred.
Keep in mind that while the CharlieCard Store is able to transfer value to a Youth Pass CharlieCard, they are not able to issue cards. You must get your replacement card from your city/town’s Youth Pass location.
Note: The CharlieCard Store will not replace a monthly LinkPass that has expired.
Please contact your city or town for more information about eligibility and how to apply to the Youth Pass program. For general inquiries, you can contact the MBTA at email@example.com.
Youth Pass Reduced Fares
The Youth Pass CharlieCard provides reduced fares for bus and subway.
Stay informed. Get alerts about service delays and elevator/escalator outages by text or email.