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Upgrades to Fare Vending Machines

Riders use the new fare vending machines that were installed on the Orange Line in 2021

As part of Fare Transformation, we’re upgrading fare vending machines across the system. These upgrades will make paying for transit easier and more convenient, allowing riders to tap and go quickly through our fare gates and fare boxes.

Using the upgraded machines, riders will be able to:

  • Purchase a CharlieCard or reload an existing one
  • Purchase the new tappable CharlieTickets
  • Pay with contactless payment methods using the tap target

Note: Some of the transaction steps for paying with a credit/debit card have changed. Please follow our tips below to ensure a successful transaction.


This work is being done alongside upgrades to our fare gates. We are also phasing out the use insertable CharlieTickets.

As of July 2022, we've completed upgrading fare vending machines on all subway lines and the Silver Line.

How to Use the Upgraded Fare Vending Machines

Updated on-screen prompts at fare vending machines will help you purchase a tappable CharlieTicket or purchase/reload a CharlieCard.

You can now pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or contactless credit/debit cards. You can also use your credit/debit card, EBT card, or cash.

How to Buy Tickets and Passes with a Credit/Debit Card

Upgraded fare vending machines have different transaction steps compared to old machines. If you're paying with a debit/credit card, please note:

  • On-screen instructions are provided on both the fare vending machine and the card reader during your transaction. Follow these prompts carefully and in order.
  • When selecting your payment method, make sure you choose the method that corresponds with your card type (i.e., debit versus credit)
  • If using a chip card, be sure to leave your card in the reader until you are prompted to remove it. If you remove it too soon, the transaction will be voided.

For further assistance, please see a Transit Ambassador. They wear bright red shirts and can be found throughout the station.

Paying Your Fare at GLX Stations

When the new GLX stations open this spring, riders should tap their CharlieCards or new CharlieTickets at the fare vending machines at the stations, rather than at the onboard fareboxes as they may be used to.

Fare vending machines are located at street level at Lechmere and before the platform at Union Square.

Please note that old, insertable CharlieTickets still need to be validated at onboard fareboxes at the front of the train.

Fare Transformation

A rider taps their CharlieCard at one of the upgraded fare gates on the Orange Line

Fare Transformation will make it easy for you to tap and board at any door with a fare card, smartphone, or contactless credit card.

Learn more about Fare Transformation

Old CharlieTickets vs. New CharlieTickets

Upgraded fare machines will dispense new CharlieTickets that you can tap at upgraded fare gates. They will not dispense the old, insertable CharlieTickets.

You can tell the difference between the old and new tickets by looking at the front of the card—old CharlieTickets have a black magnetic stripe along the bottom, while the new CharlieTickets do not.

Fare Transformation

A rider taps their CharlieCard at one of the upgraded fare gates on the Orange Line

Fare Transformation will make it easy for you to tap and board at any door with a fare card, smartphone, or contactless credit card.

Learn more about Fare Transformation