Calling all commuters and tourists! Did you know that Boston is filled to the brim with relatively unknown transit perks? Well, look no further because MassRIDES has you covered with eight secrets that will save you money, time, and stress.
Free or Reduced Passes
1. Children, military personnel, public servants, government officials, and visually impaired passengers ride the MBTA for free!
The MBTA offers free service to children younger than 12, active-duty military personnel, police officers and firefighters in the MBTA service area, and government officials. It also allows for passengers who are blind or have low vision to ride for free with a Blind Access CharlieCard. Out-of-state blind or low vision guests may also utilize this free service upon providing the appropriate documentation.
2. Seniors, middle and high school students, people with disabilities, and young adults may be eligible for reduced MBTA passes
The MBTA offers reduced passes for numerous groups of riders including seniors aged 65 and older who are eligible for reduced MBTA fares with a Senior CharlieCard and local middle and high school students who are eligible for reduced passes that expire on August 31st of each year. People with temporary or permanent disabilities are also eligible for reduced passes with the Transportation Access Pass, as well as low-income adults.
3. The MBTA LinkPass allows riders to purchase unlimited rides for $12 a day or $21.25 a week
While it’s pretty commonly known that MBTA commuters can purchase a monthly LinkPass, many are unaware about the inexpensive daily and weekly options. Riders may pay $12 a day or $21.25 a week for unlimited travel on the local bus and subway. (The daily pass is worth the investment if riders plan on taking five or more transit rides in a day!)
4. This weekend is the last weekend passengers may purchase unlimited commuter rail weekend service passes for $10
The commuter rail allows passengers to purchase unlimited travel across the network for just $10 each weekend until Sunday, December 9th. Each ticket works for all commuter rail lines and all zones on both Saturday and Sunday.
Faster, Extended, and More Convenient Service
1. Buses and trolleys that run along the street are granted transit signal prioritization
Transit signal prioritization allows buses and trolleys that run along the streets, including the Green Line’s B, C, and E routes, to request a green light as they approach an intersection. This enables service to speed up and passengers to get to their destinations faster.
2. Many busses now have extended service running as late as 3 am
Earlier this year, the MBTA expanded bus service from 10 pm until 3 am every night. The expansion included additional evening trips, later scheduling, and route variations.
3. Pilot projects are testing bus rapid transit (BRT) for faster bus service in Arlington, Cambridge/Watertown, and Everett
Four towns tested the BRT pilot project over the course of 2018. The pilot project included transit signal prioritization, bus queue jumping at traffic signals, a dedicated bus priority lane, and platform level boarding facilities. These adjustments not only helped bus riders get to their destinations faster but the platform level boarding facilities eased the boarding for riders in wheelchairs, strollers, or carts.
4. New tunnel under Causeway Street provides commuter rail riders direct access to the subway
Commuter rail riders will no longer have to trek through the cold, rain, and snow after leaving North Station to reach their Orange or Green lines. The 250 feet long tunnel, complete with elevators and an escalator, will start inside the commuter rail station lobby and end at the T station across Causeway Street.
Be sure to utilize these tips to save both money and time this year. For more information on local transit, visit our regional transit resources.