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Watertown Partners with MBTA to Increase Access to CharlieCards

Posted on July 18, 2019

CharlieCards now available at Watertown Town Hall and Watertown Free Public Library

Model displaying CharlieCard

Today the MBTA announced that the Town of Watertown has partnered with the T in the growing initiative to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation. 

Under the initiative, free, no-balance CharlieCards are available at the following Watertown locations: 

  • Watertown Town Hall, Administration Building, 149 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
    • CharlieCards available in the Clerk’s Office on the ground floor and in the Planning Department on the third floor. 
  • Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472

The Town of Watertown joins a growing list of cities and towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards. The City of Chelsea partnered with the MBTA in January 2019 with CharlieCards pre-loaded with $5 as well as free, no-balance CharlieCards available in the Treasury Office of Chelsea City Hall. CharlieCards available in the City of Lynn and the City of Salem are also coming soon.

“Expanded access to CharlieCards means more MBTA customers can take advantage of lower fares available through a re-loadable CharlieCard,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to thank the Town of Watertown for their partnership and we hope this initiative makes the T even more accessible for our customers.” 

 “We are so happy to be able to make CharlieCards available to our residents and employees,” said Watertown’s Senior Transportation Planner Laura Wiener. “It can sometimes be difficult to find CharlieCards, which provide a discount for riders. We hope providing this easy access to cards will make riding the bus and subway more attractive, and help to reduce congestion and pollution in the Town.”

Unlike CharlieTickets, CharlieCards are reusable plastic cards that can be routinely loaded with stored cash value or 1-day, 7-day, or monthly passes. As a way to encourage use of CharlieCards, cardholders pay lower single-ride fares on bus and subway services than customers who pay cash or hold a CharlieTicket. CharlieCards also offer enhanced options for transfers over tickets and cash. 

CharlieCard availability has historically been concentrated around major rapid transit hubs. Similarly, fare vending machines are clustered around rapid transit stations. Under this initiative, the MBTA continues to acknowledge that access to cards needs to increase, especially in communities with a higher reliance on buses.  

The MBTA hopes to partner with additional nonprofit organizations or cities and towns to provide residents with CharlieCards, either blank or pre-loaded with a dollar amount for purchase. By providing easier access to CharlieCards, the T hopes to incentivize riders to use CharlieCards and fare vending machines throughout their travels, resulting in a savings of both time and money.

Organizations and communities seeking to partner in this effort should contact MBTA Chief Customer Officer Danny Levy at  

Learn more about CharlieCards

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