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MBTA Reduced Fare (Senior/TAP) Charlie Card

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Reduced fares and passes are available for seniors and people with disabilities using the T (i.e., the subway trains) and other MBTA services. Passengers must use a reduced fare CharlieCard to receive discounted fares.

Who can use this option?
  • Seniors 65+ are eligible for a reduced fare Senior CharlieCard.
  • People of any age with a disability can get a Transportation Access Pass (TAP card).
How much does it cost? Seniors (65+) can use their ride local buses for 85 cents, subways for $1.10, inner express buses for $2.50, and outer express buses for $3.50.

Seniors can also travel on commuter rail or ferry services for 50% off the regular full fare.

In addition, seniors can purchase a monthly pass (good for unlimited travel on local buses and subways) for $30. No discounts apply to express bus passes, commuter rail passes, or boat passes.

When is this option available? The T and buses run from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. seven days a week. Weekend and holiday schedules feature less frequent buses and trains.

Approximate schedule periods for the T:

  • AM Rush Hour: 6:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Midday: 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • PM Rush Hour: 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Evening: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Late Night: 8:00 PM - last train
How far ahead do you need to plan? No advance planning is required for travel. However, you must have a Senior CharlieCard or TAP card in order to be eligible for the discounted rate.

If you have never had an MBTA Senior CharlieCard, you may go to Downtown Crossing to the CharlieCard Store to get one. You need to bring government-issued photo ID showing proof of age (e.g., a passport, Massachusetts RMV ID, or drivers license). Your picture will be taken and you will receive a temporary CharlieCard. Your permanent card will arrive in the mail shortly thereafter.

The card itself is free, but to use it you must use a fare vending machine to "load" it up with money before you can use it.

Seniors can also add value to their Senior CharlieCard at any of the following convenient sales locations:

  • Bay State Foods (1418 Beacon St, Brookline)
  • Piccadilly Market (63 B Union St., Newton)
  • Star Market (1717 Beacon St, Brookline)
  • Star Market (1 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill)
  • Star Market (2040 Commonwealth Ave., Newton)

Senior Centers also hold CharlieCard Events occasionally, where you may apply for a new card, renew an expired or expiring card, or apply for a replacement card. You must bring in a government-issued photo ID with proof of age. You will get your picture taken, and your Senior CharlieCard will be mailed to your home by the MBTA in 6-8 weeks.

Senior CharlieCards and TAP cards have an expiration date. To replace your expired card, you may go to the Downtown Crossing CharlieCard Store to replace your expired Senior CharlieCard. You can also call 617-222-5976 to ask if you are eligible to renew over the phone. If so, the MBTA will reuse your old CharlieCard photo. The new card will then be mailed to your home address in 6-8 weeks.

When replacing a lost, damaged, stolen or expired Reduced Fare CharlieCard at the CharlieCard Store, you will receive a temporary CharlieTicket valid for 30 days. Your permanent Senior or TAP CharlieCard with a photo will be mailed to your home address.

What accommodations are available?
  • All MBTA buses are accessible (i.e., kneeling entryway, lift/ramp, securement areas, automated stop announcements, easy-to-read signage, and priority seating).
  • Green line trains are "light rail" (not subway). Accessibility at Green line stations vary but may include accessible parking, ramps, elevators, escalators, easy-to-read signage, audio fare vending machines, wide faregates, mobile lifts, platforms, bridgeplates, tactile strips, etc.. Visit the MBTA website to check accessibility features available at individual stops and stations. The MBTA has an action plan in place to bring all stations up to expectations.
  • MBTA elevators are operational approximately 99% of the time.
  • Portable bridgeplates are available at all Red, Orange and Blue line stations if needed to span the gap between the platform and car floor. Contact the MBTA station personnel or train staff if you require the use of a bridgeplate.
  • All customers have the right to use accessibility equipment (such as ramps, elevators, mobile lifts, and bridgeplates).
  • Service animals are always welcome on MBTA vehicles and property during all hours of operation.
  • Call to get schedules in large print, braille, and other forms of alternative formatting.
  • Escorts/companions are permitted to travel with the passenger but must pay their own fare. However, guides accompanying blind/visually impaired customers travel for free.
Notes The MBTA has an electronic fare system on ALL buses, subways, and commuter rail lines. All seniors (65 or older) must have a Senior CharlieCard/TAP ID in order to be eligible for the discounted senior rate when using public transportation.

Blue Line Subway services are available to and from Downtown Boston with free Silver Line high-speed bus service from all Logan Airport terminals to South Station.

The Providence Line Commuter Rail at South Station also offers weekday service to and from T.F. Green Airport.

Contact Details Customer service:
617-222-3200
617-222-5146 (TTY)Senior / TAP card dedicated TTY line:
617-222-5854Website: mbta.com

CharlieCard Store
Downtown Crossing Station
7 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111
Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.