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How to Get an MBTA Reduced Fare Senior Charlie Card

charliecardIf you're a Massachusetts resident aged 60 or older, you're eligible for a reduced fare MBTA Charlie Card.

As of February 2016, you can ride the bus for 80 cents, the T for $1.05, and the commuter rail for half price. If you're a frequent rider, it's worth adding a monthly pass to your reduced fare Charlie Card for only $29. You can visit the MBTA website for details.

Ready to get your own reduced fare Charlie Card? You have 2 options.

  1. Go to the Downtown Crossing MBTA station with your picture ID showing your birthdate. A drivers license, passport, or Massachusetts state ID are accepted. Downtown Crossing is on the Orange and Red lines but can also be accessed by an underground walkway from the Park St station on the Green line. If you use this option, it's my understanding that you will be given a temporary card that day.
  2. Come to a Charlie Card event at your local Senior Center. There is one at the Newton Senior Center (345 Walnut St.) on March 30th, 2016 from 2-3pm, and another at the Brookline Senior Center (93 Winchester St.) on May 18, 2016 from 1-3pm. You will need to bring your picture ID showing your birthdate. Your cards will be mailed to you 6-8 weeks after the event. Charlie Card events are held twice a year at both these locations. If your local senior center doesn't sponsor one, ask them to and refer them to the MBTA website for advice on how to do it!
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2 thoughts on “How to Get an MBTA Reduced Fare Senior Charlie Card

  1. Carol A. Heal

    Can you get a reduced fare on the commuter rail if living in Rhode Island to go into South station?

    1. TRIPPS

      Carol, good news: our well-informed, MBTA-savvy volunteers are assuring me that you do NOT need an MBTA Senior Reduced Fare Charlie Card to get the 50% senior discount on commuter rail fares. Just buy a reduced fare senior ticket and show your ID to the conductor when s/he punches your ticket on the train. You'll need to show the conductor a government-issued photo ID that includes your birth date.

      Also, remember that buying your ticket from a station agent or vending machine is going to be much cheaper than buying it on the train, where conductors have to tack on a surcharge. Of course, if there's no agent or machine available at the station where you board the train, you won't be charged the surcharge.

      If you have any further questions, you can call the Keolis customer service center Monday through Friday 6:30am-8pm or Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30am-6pm. Call 617-222-3200 or 617-222-5854 (TTY) and follow the prompts for questions about commuter rail service.

      Good luck, and happy trails to you!


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