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Updated: Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston Partner with MBTA to Increase Access to CharlieCards

Posted on January 9, 2020

Updated on January 10, 2020


CharlieCards now available at all Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

Today the MBTA announced that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston have joined the ongoing program to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation. 

“Expanding this program ensures that more customers have access to lower fares through the use of our re-loadable CharlieCard,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to extend my appreciation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for partnering with the T in expanding this access that ultimately allows the MBTA to be even more accessible for our customers.”

“Thanks to the MBTA’s initiative to increase accessibility to CharlieCards, our children and teens will have the opportunity to travel outside their neighborhoods to discover opportunities in Boston and beyond related to education, the arts, jobs, and more,” said Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is grateful for the chance to partner with the MBTA.”

Under the program, free no-balance CharlieCards are now available at all Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston during their open hours: 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston join a growing list of organizations, 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. 
  • The City of Boston partnered with the MBTA in May 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at Boston City Hall and branches of the Boston Public Library.
  • The Town of Watertown partnered with the MBTA in July 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available in Watertown Town Hall and the Watertown Free Public Library. 
  • The City of Salem partnered with the MBTA in August 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at the Mayor Jean A. Levesque Community Life Center, Salem Public Library, and Salem’s Parking Department. 
  • The Town of Winthrop partnered with the MBTA in September 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at the Winthrop Public Library. 
  • The City of Lynn partnered with the MBTA in December 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at Lynn City Hall. 

As of January 1, free no-balance CharlieCards are also now permanently available at Downtown Crossing Station via Transit Ambassadors. On October 31, 2019, the MBTA's Customer Experience team implemented a pilot program to distribute CharlieCards to Downtown Crossing Transit Ambassadors directly from the CharlieCard Store. This pilot was implemented to provide customers with increased access to CharlieCards during all hours of service (including weekends when the CharlieCard Store is closed) and to reduce the need for customers to travel to the Store just to obtain a card. When the pilot officially ended on December 31, over 3,000 CharlieCards had been distributed to customers. Due to the success of this pilot, this program will continue permanently.    

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. (Note: CharlieCards are not valid for use on the Commuter Rail though customers are encouraged to learn more about Commuter Rail fare products that include the mTicket.)

CharlieCard availability has historically been concentrated around major rapid-transit hubs. Similarly, fare vending machines are clustered around rapid-transit stations. Under this program, 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 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 DLevy@MBTA.com.
 

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