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MBTA Control Board Makes Improvements to the Youth Pass; Converts Outer Express Bus Routes to Inner Express Fares

Posted on May 10, 2021

Youth Pass and Express Bus fare changes go into effect on July 1, 2021. 

More information on the Youth Pass and Express Bus changes can be found at mbta.com/2021FareChanges.


The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) today approved fare changes, including improvements to the Youth Pass and converting all Outer Express Bus Routes to Inner Express Bus fares, effective July 1. These changes reflect much needed updates to reduced fare programs and help to simplify complex fare structures. 

“These changes approved by the FMCB will convert all Outer Express Bus Routes to the lower Inner Express Bus fare and provide Youth Pass users with reduced fares on Commuter Rail, Express Bus, and ferries beginning July 1,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “These improvements help us to continue to meet the needs of riders through important incremental fare advancements that make a difference now more than ever as we enter the post-pandemic ‘new normal’.”

Fare Changes

First presented as proposals by MBTA Fare Transformation staff last month, these fare changes today approved by the FMCB aim to benefit nearly 2,200 current Youth Pass participants (about 4,600 pre-pandemic) and to simplify Express Bus fares:

  • The Youth Pass Program is a partnership between the MBTA and participating cities and towns that offers young adults with low incomes roughly 50% reduced one-way fares or $30 monthly LinkPasses on the bus and subway. Effective July 1, the Youth Pass Commuter Rail pilot is now permanent policy and will also provide reduced Express Bus and ferry fares. The MBTA welcomes new municipal partners located along the Commuter Rail network to apply to join the Youth Pass Program. Any municipality interested in learning more about the Youth Pass Program and eligibility requirements can contact youthpass@mbta.com for more information.
  • Effective July 1, 2021, all Outer Express Bus Routes ($5.25 per trip) will be converted to Inner Express Bus fares ($4.25 per trip). Maintaining a separate fare for a small number of Outer Express Bus Routes has become unnecessarily complicated for riders and bus operators. Due to service changes as a result of the pandemic, the MBTA is currently operating only a single Outer Express route (352/354), which is most recently serving about 100 Outer Express rides per day. The route also serves an Inner Express stop and requires a complicated procedure to avoid overcharging customers. As a result, fares for Express Route 352/354 as well as any future Express Bus Routes are converted to the Inner Express fare of $4.25 beginning July 1, 2021.

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