The online applications for the MBTA’s free/reduced fare programs offer riders a convenient method to apply for and receive a new free/reduced fare CharlieCard without having to visit the CharlieCard Store.  -  Photo: MBTA

The online applications for the MBTA’s free/reduced fare programs offer riders a convenient method to apply for and receive a new free/reduced fare CharlieCard without having to visit the CharlieCard Store.

Photo: MBTA

The MBTA announced that eligible riders can now apply online for a new, renewal, or replacement TAP CharlieCard or Blind Access CharlieCard. 

People with disabilities (including low vision) and Medicare cardholders are eligible for reduced MBTA fares with a TAP CharlieCard and people who are legally blind are eligible for free MBTA fares with a Blind Access CharlieCard, according to the MBTA.

With the launch of these two online applications, the MBTA said it now accepts online applications for the following free/reduced fare programs: Blind Access, TAP, Senior, and Youth Pass. Riders will still be able to apply in-person at the CharlieCard Store for Senior, Blind Access, and TAP, as they do now (and can make online reservations to visit the CharlieCard Store), and can also visit the MBTA Mobility Center for online application support. The MBTA said riders seeking to apply for a TAP CharlieCard by mail or at the CharlieCard Store can download the updated application at the agency's Transportation Access Pass webpage online.

“I am pleased to announce the launch of the online application portal to allow all of our reduced fare riders online access, which provides reduced fare riders with broader access and more convenience,” said Steve Poftak, MBTA GM. “We have made significant investments in equipment, staff resources, and technology solutions to improve the experience of our riders with a specific focus on riders with disability- and age-based needs. Through our Fare Transformation journey, we continue to improve the experience of riders as we work towards modernization by investing in state of good repair and capital improvements that transform the system into a modern digital payment system.” 

The online applications for the MBTA’s free/reduced fare programs offer riders a convenient method to apply for and receive a new free/reduced fare CharlieCard without having to visit the CharlieCard Store, according to the agency. Riders can apply to these respective programs remotely from a computer or mobile device in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Each application allows applicants to securely enter their personal information and upload the required documents, such as a photo ID and eligibility documentation. The MBTA added that all online applications are accessible to screen readers and were tested by free/reduced fare riders to ensure usability. Riders who submit their email address as part of their application will receive application status notifications, including details on how to use their card if approved.

“Greater accessibility to MBTA resources supports independence and self-determination of individuals who are blind,” said David D’Arcangelo, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind commissioner. “We are pleased to collaborate with the MBTA on streamlining the process of obtaining and updating our Blind Access Cards. This is a game-changer for our consumers who no longer have to travel to an office in order to receive the cards, offering them a more equitable and efficient solution to travel in Massachusetts.”

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