MBTA launches contactless payments on buses, trolleys, subway

MBTA launches contactless payments on buses, trolleys, subway Image credit: MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has announced that contactless payments will be accepted onboard buses, Green Line trolleys, Mattapan Line trolleys, and at all gated subway stations beginning August 1, 2024. 

Contactless payment options provide better flexibility and allow riders to pay by tapping a contactless credit/debit card, phone with a mobile wallet, or watch on fare readers on buses, on Green Line vehicles, on Mattapan Line vehicles, and at all gated subway stations. A one-step option for pay-as-you-go travel, riders can save time by using their contactless credit/debit card, phone, or watch instead of purchasing and reloading a CharlieCard. Riders can look for the contactless symbol, tap their card or device on the reader at the fare gate or the reader at the vehicle door, wait for the green checkmark, then ride.

Riders with weekly or monthly passes or those who would like to continue to use their CharlieCards will not be impacted by the change. The current ways to pay will remain the same.

The MBTA's contract to roll out a new fare system with Cubic dates to 2018, and is now many years behind schedule. A recent change order split the contract's delivery of a new fare system into three phases, instead of delivering the entire system all at once.

The first phase would let the T accept contactless payments from mobile devices and credit cards on new fare-readers. A second phase would introduce a new CharlieCard and new fare vending machines in spring 2025, followed by a third phase to implement the new fares on commuter rail and ferries in 2026.

Source: MBTA