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College and University Student Guide to the T

Clickable graphic that resembles books on a bookshelf

Each fall, more than 150,000 students arrive in Boston for the new school year. Many of these students use the T—an expansive network of trains, buses, and ferries with stops near dozens of colleges in the Boston area. And, in most cases, it’s more affordable and convenient than having a car in the city.

Whether you’re meeting up with friends, volunteering, or going to work or class, this guide will help you navigate the T like a pro.

Masks on the T

Riders and employees are required to wear masks on all MBTA property, including vehicles, stops, and stations.

See the latest mask requirements

Where Can I Go On the T?

customers wait for arriving green line train at brookline village

The T serves more than 200 cities and towns throughout Massachusetts. From the Commuter Rail—the T’s most expansive mode—to the subway lines that operate within Greater Boston, the T offers a variety of affordable ways to explore the city and beyond.

When you’re ready to venture out, we recommend working backwards to figure out your route. See which line your school or destination is on first, and find a nearby stop or station. And use our Trip Planner to get line and mode recommendations for your most common trips.

Here are some convenient stops and routes near Boston-area schools.

Fare Calculator

Choose your origin and destination to calculate your fare with our Trip Planner.

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How to Pay

customer paying fare with charliecard

There are several ways to pay your fare depending on what mode you want to take and how often you take it. You can pay for any mode as you go, but most residents use a reloadable MBTA pass such as a CharlieCard or mTicket—and there are some perks for doing so:

CharlieCard

Best for frequent subway and bus riders
 Easily tap into stations and vehicles
Online card management and protection
 Discount on one-way fares for bus and subway
 Not valid on Commuter Rail or ferry

CharlieTicket

Great for visitors
 Great for Commuter Rail and ferry riders who also take the subway and bus
Available at all fare vending machines
 Commuter Rail and ferry passes also valid on bus and subway
Limited or no transfers when loaded with cash value
 No online management or protection

mTicket

Best for Commuter Rail and ferry riders who don’t often take the subway or bus
 $10 discount on monthly passes
 Instant purchase on smartphone
 Online account management
 No transfers to other modes

Since many of Boston’s colleges are near subway and bus stops, most students choose to use CharlieCards, which can be bought at the CharlieCard store, select subway and bus stations, and retail locations throughout the city.

Learn more about CharlieCards and CharlieTickets

View our student toolkit

Are You a University Administrator?

There are two pass programs to help your students save:

Semester Passes are prepaid by the college or university for use during the school year.

Learn more about Semester Passes

University Passes are billed monthly for use throughout the entire year. Schools are only billed for the rides students take.

Learn more about University Passes
Student CharlieCard

Choosing Your T Pass

Once you’ve determined what routes and modes you’ll use the most, you’ll have a better idea of which type of pass will work for you.

Ride Safer

Person on the green line, with a Ride Safer sign in the background

As Massachusetts reopens following the pandemic, we’re committed to keeping you safe on public transportation.

Learn more about Ride Safer

More Guides

Subway Guide clickable graphic
Bus Guide Clickable Graphic
Commuter Rail Guide Clickable Graphic

View all guides

Masks on the T

Riders and employees are required to wear masks on all MBTA property, including vehicles, stops, and stations.

See the latest mask requirements

Fare Calculator

Choose your origin and destination to calculate your fare with our Trip Planner.

There was a problem performing your search; please try again in a few minutes.

Ride Safer

Person on the green line, with a Ride Safer sign in the background

As Massachusetts reopens following the pandemic, we’re committed to keeping you safe on public transportation.

Learn more about Ride Safer

More Guides

Subway Guide clickable graphic
Bus Guide Clickable Graphic
Commuter Rail Guide Clickable Graphic

View all guides