The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston has joined the ongoing program to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation. Under the program, free no-balance CharlieCards are now available at all Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston join a growing list of organizations, cities, and towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards, including:
- The City of Chelsea partnered with the MBTA in January 2019 with CharlieCards pre-loaded with $5 as well as free no-balance CharlieCards available in the Treasury Office of Chelsea City Hall.
- The Town of Watertown partnered with the MBTA in July 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available in Watertown Town Hall and the Watertown Free Public Library.
- The City of Salem partnered with the MBTA in August 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at the Mayor Jean A. Levesque Community Life Center, Salem Public Library, and Salem’s Parking Department.
- The Town of Winthrop partnered with the MBTA in September 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at the Winthrop Public Library.
- The City of Lynn partnered with the MBTA in December 2019 with free no-balance CharlieCards available at Lynn City Hall.
Unlike CharlieTickets, CharlieCards are reusable plastic cards that can be routinely loaded with stored cash value or one-day, seven-day, or monthly passes. 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.
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 continue 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.