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MBTA Charlie CardUnder an expansion of the Student Pass program approved by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, effective September 1, students with a Student CharlieCard will pay half-price per trip on all modes of transit and may obtain a monthly bus and subway pass for $30, even if their schools do not purchase the Student Pass for them.

The changes will expand access to reduced-fare transit passes for middle and high school students, helping thousands of young people throughout the Greater Boston area travel to school and part-time jobs.

“MassDOT and the MBTA are striving to provide transportation options for our youth that are reliable year-round, and ensure that these options are easily accessible,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Investing in the continued development of our young people by facilitating their travel is a good investment in the future of our state.”

“Having a strong Student Pass program can make a huge difference in the lives of young people who rely heavily on public transportation to get to school or extracurricular activities or jobs,” said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve.

“This change will increase access to opportunities for thousands of middle and high school students in the Boston region,” said FMCB member Brian Lang.  “An unlimited year-round affordable T pass decreases barriers for low-income students to reach school, jobs, and community activities.”

In March, the Fiscal Management and Control Board voted to significantly increase access to the Student Pass. The change was made after the MBTA heard from students who did not have access to the Student Pass, but would benefit from it.

The board voted to make the Student Pass available year round at all MBTA fare vending machines and retail sales terminals for all students with a Student CharlieCard. This change will take effect on September 1, 2016, when students return to school.

The MBTA offers two types of student fares. With a Student CharlieCard, students pay half price per trip on all modes. The MBTA also offers a monthly Student Pass for $30. Previously the Student Pass was only distributed through participating schools. During the 2015-2016 school year approximately 50,000 students received or purchased a Student Pass from their school and another approximately 30,000 students received the Student CharlieCard that allows for half priced fares. Almost none of these students had access to student fares or the pass during summer months.

Starting September 1, all of the students receiving the Student CharlieCard will now be able to access the unlimited ride Student Pass in addition to the half priced fares. And all of the students in the Boston region will be able to use student fares during the following summer.

This change will significantly increase the opportunities for Boston’s students to access school, work, and extracurricular activities.

The MBTA Student Pass program is a partnership between the MBTA and the Boston Public Schools and over 270 area schools. Schools administer the program for their students and still have the choice to pay for the Student Pass for their students.


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