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MBTA Expands Pay-Per-Use Limited Fare Program to City of Somerville Employees

Posted on September 21, 2023

Municipal employees, including Somerville Public Schools employees, will have unlimited access to Subway and Local Bus with trips fully funded by the City of Somerville for the duration of the Pay-Per-Use limited fare program initiative.

Today the MBTA announced a partnership with the City of Somerville to provide municipal employees, including Somerville Public Schools employees, with local bus and subway passes through the Pay-Per-Use limited fare program. Launching late September, nearly 2,000 Somerville municipal employees will have unlimited access to subway and local bus services with their trips fully funded by the City of Somerville for the duration of the Pay-Per-Use limited fare program initiative.

Since 2016, the MBTA has partnered with MIT to operationalize a post-paid institutional fare program that charges the institution based on usage of their employees’ transit passes. In October 2022, the MBTA expanded the program to include Kendall Square Association (KSA) members Google and Sanofi, the City of Boston, and retailers in Assembly Row. The MBTA is excited to extend the fare program to City of Somerville employees this fall. The Pay-Per-Use limited fare program initiative is expected to run for 12 months, whereupon the MBTA will evaluate expanding it further as we transition to the new fare collection system.

“Whether they serve the public as teachers, sanitation workers, translators, or budget specialists, Somerville's municipal workforce is what keeps our city moving. Now, through our new partnership with the MBTA, we are able to help them get to work and where they're going,” said Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “I’d like to thank MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng, and his staff, for their dedicated work expanding the Pay-Per-Use limited fare program. Programs like this are what allow us to create a more sustainable, accessible, and equitable Somerville.”

“We are extremely thankful to the City of Somerville and to the MBTA for this partnership, which will expand critical access to public transit for many of our staff across the Somerville Public Schools,” said Dr. Rubén Carmona, Superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools. “With the recent expansion of the Green Line through Somerville, hundreds of our staff and families now have easier access to public transportation and T stops that are within close walking distance to many of our schools. Not only does this make getting to school quicker and easier, but it reduces traffic congestion through our City. It’s a win-win, and we’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity.”

“We’re pleased to partner with Somerville on this excellent benefit that offers their employees unlimited subway and bus trips,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “This kind of partnership is a win-win for both the T and Somerville. The benefits employers offer employees play a pivotal role in their hiring and retention initiatives, and this offering, in particular, supports their employees’ use of transit, helping us to continue to boost our ridership numbers. Thank you to the T’s Fare Programs team for their creative work on these kinds of programs, the City of Somerville for their continued partnership, and the current and new Somerville riders we’re welcoming to the MBTA system.”

Many employers in the greater Boston area provide their employees with transit benefits through the MBTA’s Perq for Work program, offering pre-taxed (sometimes fully or partially) funded transit passes to employees. This Limited Pay-Per-Use fare program works with employers and Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) such as Assembly Connect that want to fully subsidize their employees’ transit trips to incentivize employee use of transit when commuting to work. 

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