Accessible Services

What’s Trending on The RIDE

This webpage is intended to provide you with the latest RIDE program happenings.  We will be uploading all informational letters sent to our customers regarding program and service changes, pilot programs, public meeting notifications, presentations, etc.   We hope you find this a useful source of information.  If you have additional suggestions as to what you would like to see on this page, please email us at theride@mbta.com with the subject line, “RIDE Webpage.”  Thank you!

T-Project Project Status
RTA Direct trips/Expansion View MWRTA customer notification letters as a pdf or word document   Initial analysis and logistical plan complete. Public communication sent to Wellesley and Dover customers. MWRTA takes on Wellesley and Dover. (local) trips 7/1. Notice made public at AACT meetings, on all 3 RIDE service provider reservation lines and on the MBTA website. Weston transition to MWRTA  delayed.
HST (MassHealth) Coordination View MBTA customer notification letter as a pdf or word document View the HST brochure as a pdf or word document   Informational letters and HST brochures US mailed to all RIDE customers on 6/2/16
Travel Training/Reduced fare Charlie Card Email howtotravel@mbta.com for more information on individual or group trainings Innovative Paradigms was awarded the Travel Training contract in August 2016.  The Travel Training staff is co-located with staff at The RIDE Eligibility Center in Boston. RIDE customers who complete the program are issued a Transportation Access Pass (TAP card) giving them reduced fare options on the fixed route (bus, subway and trolley). RIDE customers not in need of Travel Training can at anytime apply for the TAP card. Click here for more information.  
TRAC, The RIDE Access Center
Click here to view important customer information-letter and FAQs
TRAC is launching in February 2017. There will be three phases. Phase 1 will have customers, who utilize NEXT (National Express Transit) as their RIDE provider, being serviced by TRAC for any trips taken February 10th and later. Phase 2 in May will be for GLSS and Phase 3 in July for VTS. A Frequently Asked Questions document or FAQ will be available on this site and updated as needed. Monthly updates will also be available at AACT's monthly meetings.
On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program
Click here for more information and to apply for the Uber/Lyft pilot.
The one year On-demand paratransit pilot was announced on September 16th by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Means Testing Pilot Final Report Nov 2016 as a pdf or Word document  The Means Testing Pilot Project’s Final Report is available for review. In the spring of 2015, MBTA staff, in consultation with advisory groups, began developing a pilot project designed to further understand the economic characteristics of RIDE users, and to evaluate the feasibility of using participation in existing means-tested social service programs as a basis for impl     ementing means-based fares. The key principles guiding program development were: financial sustainability, equity across both RIDE and all MBTA customers, and easy implementation. The organizations that comprised the Pilot Project Working Group included: MBTA’s Office of Transportation Access (OTA); Massachusetts Senior Action Council (Mass Senior Action); Access Advisory Committee (AACT); the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston (Collins Center); and Pierlott & Associates, LLC (PALLC). 
For updates on Paratransit presented to the Fiscal Management and Control Board click here Update information on Paratransit initiatives and operations are periodically reported to The Fiscal Management and Control Board.


The following is supplemental information detailing the Task Force projects listed above.

Task Force established

The MBTA has partnered with several agencies and advocacy groups to identify areas of opportunity for $10M in cost savings in FY17 and establish targets by project. The Task Force provides updates to the Fiscal Management and Control Board regularly. These FMCB presentations can be viewed here.

The Paratransit Community Task Force meets bi- monthly with reports from members around program design or other opportunities while brainstorming ideas.  Community representatives will additionally be responsible for conducting outreach and gathering input from a broader group.  The UMass-Boston Collins Center has joined the team providing administrative support. A current list of Task Force members are listed below.

Membership consists of:

  • Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA
  • Bay State Council for the Blind
  • Boston Center for Independent Living
  • Disability Policy Consortium
  • Mass Senior Action
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services (Human Service Transportation)
  • MBTA Office for Transportation Access/The RIDE and System-wide Accessibility staff members
  • MBTA Office of the Chief Administrator
  • The Collins Center of UMASS-Boston

On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program

The On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program announced by Gov. Baker on September 16th with Uber and Lyft will allow the MBTA to learn and understand the opportunities and challenges of incorporating on-demand paratransit options into public transit, and follows the Taxi-Subsidy pilot program launched in January with multiple Boston-area taxi providers to subsidize trips for RIDE users via taxis.

These pilots are part of the MBTA's efforts to deliver more efficient and cost-effective service. Current RIDE service comes at a variable cost of $31 to the MBTA, a $3.15 set fare for customers and a minimum of one day advance notice required. Ride-share pilot participants will have on-demand service available and pay the first $2.00 of the trip. The MBTA will pick up the next $13.00 of the trip, with the customer picking up any remaining trip costs.

As these are opt-in pilot on-demand programs it is important to note only non-ADA service is provided, in other words there is no door to door driver assistance. Customers may travel with a PCA and service hours are currently the same as The RIDE which is generally from 5am to 1am, 7 days a week. Uber/Lyft driver-partners will undergo third-party safety screenings, vehicle and criminal background record checks and receive educational materials on providing service for RIDE customers with accessibility needs. Uber and Lyft will also offer sessions to train their driver-partners to better serve pilot customers.

RIDE customers will need a valid email address, mobile number, and form of payment (Credit Card, Debit Card, Prepaid Card, Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Wallet/Android Pay) to sign up.

Both Lyft and Uber will be offering service in the current RIDE service area.  Logan Airport is currently not serviceable by either provider and all trips must start and end in these areas. Additionally, customers in the on-demand pilot who are unable to use a smart phone or without access to one can book rides by using a phone-in option from Lyft or obtain a smart phone from Uber on a limited basis.

Participants chosen for the pilot will be notified by Uber or RIDE customers are encouraged to sign up for both pilots to maximize their chance at getting into the pilot. Visit www.mbta/paratransitpilot to sign up for and learn more about this exciting new pilot offering..

The MBTA reserves the right to limit or cancel this pilot program at anytime.

Centralized Call and Control Center is now The RIDE Access Center

TRAC Logo blue w150The Fiscal Management and Control Board awarded a $38M contract to Global Contact Services for paratransit services from 7/1/16 through 12/31/2020.  By consolidating the current three individual reservation, scheduling and dispatching operations into one it will significantly improve productivity, reduce the unit cost of service and enhance customer service. The current three RIDE contractors will continue to provide the actual transportation to RIDE customers.  The CCCC is now referred to as TRAC or The RIDE Access Center.

The MBTA is consistently an industry leader with 97% on-time performance within 30 minute window. For the customer, the implementation of TRAC ensures long term sustainability of the same high quality service by having one point of contact, the elimination of transfers within the RIDE service area, and increased transportation options to improve access to multiple transportation modes.

Mobilization of the project began 7/1/16.  A phased implementation approach will begin in January 2017.  As the project moves forward our customers will be notified via this webpage, public meetings, US mail, email notifications and RIDE vehicle postings.

Travel Training Program

The MBTA’s buses, trains and ferries are more accessible than ever! The T now offers in-person travel instruction for seniors and customers with disabilities who want to learn more about how to ride safely and independently. Group classes as well as one-on-one trainings are offered at no cost.

Wellesley, Weston* and Dover –MWRTA to provide paratransit service.

Effective 7/1/16, MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA), now includes the Towns of Wellesley, and Dover, assumed direct responsibilities for the ADA local paratransit service to residents of these towns.

The Weston* transition to MWRTA which was also planned for 7/1 has been delayed.

The transfer point for trips to Boston from a MWRTA vehicle to an MBTA vehicle is now Riverside Station on the Green Line, no longer the Wellesley Farms Commuter Rail Station.  Facilities are available at Riverside and customers may choose to utilize the Green Line from that point instead of transferring to an MBTA RIDE vehicle for the completion of their trip.

Customers wishing to use both agencies for their travel into Boston, or any other MBTA serviced towns, must have RIDE accounts at both agencies. Contact MWRTA 888-996-9782 (Voice, Relay) with any additional questions or concerns.

Fare Increase 2016

Effective 7/1/16 MBTA fares across all modes of transportation experienced a fare increase.  THE RIDE fares are now $3.15 one-way for ADA trips and $5.25 one-way for non-ADA trips.  

A non-ADA fare applies when the trip and/or destination is greater than ¾ miles from bus lines or subway stops outside of the core area. Please note that some bus routes are shortened or eliminated on Saturdays and Sundays.  Non-ADA fares are also charged for same day reservations.  Same day reservations are not guaranteed.

Free transportation options:

  1. Trips on MassHealth’s HST system are free to MassHealth eligible customers to non-emergency medical appointments (doctors, counseling, day habilitation). Call 1-800-841-2900 or 1-800-497-4648 TTY for more information.
  2. Your town or city hall may also offer transportation through its Council on Aging or Veterans Affairs Offices.  Call your local Town or City Hall for more information.