Cambridge Partners with MBTA to Increase Access to CharlieCards


Image of Central Square Red Line, Cyclists and Pedestrians

The City of Cambridge has partnered with the MBTA on their program to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation.The City of Cambridge joins a growing list of organizations, cities, and towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards.

“We’re pleased to see the continued expansion of this program, ensuring that more customers have access to lower fares through the re-loadable CharlieCard,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Thank you to the City of Cambridge for partnering with us in this growing effort that ultimately allows the MBTA to be even more accessible for our riders.”

“Cambridge continuously strives to support sustainable and affordable options for people to get around our city,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “By partnering with the MBTA on this program, we’re increasing our residents’ access to the public transit system and the fare savings that come with using a CharlieCard. I hope this program will encourage more people to consider riding the T.”

Under the program, free no balance CharlieCards are now available at the Community Development Department, on the 3rd floor of the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

Unlike CharlieTickets, CharlieCards are reusable plastic cards that can be routinely loaded with stored cash value or one-day, seven-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

For more information on CharlieCards, visit or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.