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New Ways to Pay: MBTA Announces Contactless Payments Accepted Onboard Buses, Green Line Trolleys, Mattapan Line Trolleys, and at Subway Fare Gates Starting August 1

Posted on July 9, 2024

The MBTA is rolling out new ways to pay to provide an easier, more convenient, and modernized rider experience.

Contactless Card on Green Line

The MBTA today announced that contactless payments will be accepted onboard buses, Green Line trolleys, Mattapan Line trolleys, and at all gated subway stations beginning Thursday, August 1, 2024. This new initiative is part of the MBTA’s goal of offering easier, more convenient, and modernized ways for riders to pay fares. More information is available at

Contactless phone on Green Line fare reader.

“Transitioning to this contactless system is a part of the next generation of transportation that our riders deserve. This will allow them to save time and make it easier for riders and travelers to pay and board as they use the system,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt.

“I’ve seen directly at other transit properties and heard firsthand from many riders about the importance of contactless payment and how it would greatly enhance the experience of using mass transit. Last year this project needed a course correction and I’m proud of the progress made to deliver this important amenity for our riders, bringing our payment system for our bus and subway system into the 21st century. This lays the groundwork for the fare payment system of the future, incorporating our fare structure including the recently approved Income-Eligible Reduced Fares,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “The MBTA team’s steadfast dedication to bring this initiative to fruition along with our partner Cubic, worked collaboratively, solving challenges to demonstrate our commitment to the public.  I thank our riders for their patience as we continue to build a system that they can rely on and be proud of.”

“Cubic Transportation Systems has been a proud partner of the MBTA for several years and we thank the MBTA for their collaboration throughout this project,” said President of Cubic Transportation Systems Peter Torrellas. “The upcoming launch of Automated Fare Collection 2.0 system-wide will transform public transportation across Greater Boston and significantly enhance the rider experience. Millions of MBTA riders will soon be able to benefit from increased convenience with this modern, efficient, and user-friendly contactless payment system.”

Contactless Card on Bus

Contactless payment options provide better flexibility and allow riders to pay by tapping a contactless credit/debit card, phone with a mobile wallet, or watch on fare readers on buses, on Green Line vehicles, on Mattapan Line vehicles, and at all gated subway stations. A one-step option for pay-as-you-go travel, riders can save time by using their contactless credit/debit card, phone, or watch instead of purchasing and reloading a CharlieCard. Riders can look for the contactless symbol, tap their card or device on the reader at the fare gate or the reader at the vehicle door, wait for the green checkmark, then ride.

Contactless watch on bus fare reader.

Riders with weekly or monthly passes or those who would like to continue to use their CharlieCards will not be impacted by the change. The current ways to pay will remain the same.

Riders using fare readers on Green Line

While onboard buses, Green Line trolleys, and Mattapan Line trolleys, riders should be mindful of the location of the tappable fare readers near the vehicles’ doors. To avoid the possibility of accidental taps and charges of their contactless credit or debit cards, riders are encouraged to hold their purses, bags, and backpacks away from the contactless readers.

Riders in reduced fare programs (such as Senior, Student, and TAP) will have the option to link their benefits to their contactless card, phone, or watch. Riders who do not want to link their benefits to a contactless card, phone, or watch will be able to continue using their current payment method. For more information, visit Contactless payment options will operate in accordance with the MBTA's privacy policy, which is available at The MBTA is committed to a strong culture of privacy based on protecting our customers’ personal information as well as being as transparent as possible in how we use customer data and how customers may access, update, or delete their personal information.

Contactless credit card at station fare reader.

Riders will be able to manage their contactless cards, phone, and/or the watch they use for travel through an online Charlie account at or by calling the Customer Support Center at 617-222-3200. A Charlie account allows riders to check their balance, manage their charges, view their trip history, and access other self-service tools for quick and easy account management. Registration is optional.

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