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MBTA Lowers CharlieTicket and Cash Fare to CharlieCard Levels; Implements Free Bus and Subway Transfers from Zone 1A Fairmount Line Stops and Half-Price Zone 1A Commuter Rail Fares for the Youth Pass

Posted on May 21, 2020

Fare tariff changes come as part of the first phases of Fare Transformation and take effect this fall or upon the commencement of the Fairmount Line Pilot.


As part of their Fiscal Year 2021 budget, the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board today approved customer-driven fare tariff changes that include the lowering of CharlieTicket fares to that of the CharlieCard this fall as well as improvements for Youth Pass holders and for those transferring to rapid transit or buses from Zone 1A Fairmount Line stops. 
 
“These tariff changes represent important initial steps toward a complete transformation of the MBTA’s fare system, making the payment process easier and more convenient,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Given the challenging circumstances created by the pandemic, these changes – eliminating the CharlieCard-CharlieTicket differential, free bus and subway transfers for Zone 1A Fairmount Line stops, reduced Zone 1A fares for Youth Pass holders – allow the T to continue to best meet the needs of our riders through incremental, phased improvements.”

As part of the first phases of the MBTA’s Fare Transformation program, which aims to make paying for transit easier and more convenient, today’s approvals mean that the differential between CharlieCard and CharlieTicket/cash fares will be eliminated in fall 2020, lowering CharlieTicket and cash fares to CharlieCard levels. All fare payments will be the same, regardless of whether a customer is using a CharlieCard, CharlieTicket, or cash:

  • $1.70 for local bus (a $0.30 reduction for those using CharlieTicket/cash)
  • $4.25 for inner express bus (a $1 reduction for those using CharlieTicket/cash)
  • $5.25 for outer express bus (a $1.75 reduction for those using CharlieTicket/cash)
  • $2.40 for rapid transit (a $0.50 reduction for those using CharlieTicket/cash)

Today’s approval also allows for free bus transfers from Zone 1A Fairmount Line stations as well as free transfers to the subway at South Station – customers will no longer need to pay an additional fare to board the bus or enter the fare gates at South Station. Through the use of CharlieCard readers at stations, these improvements will go into effect upon the commencement of the Fairmount Line Pilot.

This approval also grants Youth Pass holders with the eligibility for half-price Zone 1A Commuter Rail tickets, using the Fairmount validators, at ticket windows, and onboard trains. The Youth Pass Program is a partnership between the MBTA and participating cities and towns that offers young adults with low income roughly 50% reduced 1-way fares or $30 monthly LinkPasses currently on bus and subway only. Upon the commencement of the Fairmount Pilot, Youth Pass holders can access Zone 1A stations for the reduced price.

Additional anticipated improvements to come as part of Fare Transformation’s phased approach include:

  • Deploying fare vending machines that dispense CharlieCards
  • All-door boarding on MBTA buses and surface stops along the Green Line
  • Integrating ferries and the entire Commuter Rail network into the CharlieCard system

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