Accessible Services
Photo of a Fare Vending Machine

The Fare Vending Machine

The Fare Vending Machine (FVM) offers a quick and easy way to purchase MBTA fares and passes. Using the FVM to purchase fares and passes prior to taking the bus or Green Line can help speed up the boarding process. This section provides a brief description of the FVM as well as the accessibility features that can be utilized when using the FVM.

The CharlieCard is a quick, convenient, and secure way to use MBTA fixed-route services. Click here to learn more about the CharlieCard.

FVM Orientation

FVM touch screen. Click to enlarge. The Touch Screen
The touch screen can be found in the middle left portion of the FVM.  You can make selections by interacting with the touch screen.  The touch screen also displays information about your transaction.  If you find it difficult to interact with the touch screen, audio instructions are available.
FVM earphone jack highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Earphone Jack
Just below the lower left corner of the touch screen lies the earphone jack.  When utilizing the audio function of the FVM, you can use the earphone jack to ensure your privacy when making a transaction.  Please note that the audio function will work with or without the use of earphones.
FVM numeric keypad highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Numeric Keypad
Directly to the right of the touch screen is where the numeric keypad is located.  You will need to use the numeric keypad to make selections when the audio function is used.  You will also need to use the numeric keypad to enter your debit card PIN when using a debit card for payment.
FVM Credit Card Slot highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Credit/Debit Card Reader
The Credit/Debit Card reader can be found just above the numeric keypad. The credit/debit card reader is used to make credit/debit card transactions via the FVM. When inserting your card into the reader, make sure that the raised characters are facing the bottom of the card and to the left.
Tactile line on FVM highlighted. Click to enlarge. Tactile Orientation Line
To the right of the numeric keypad and credit/debit card reader, you will find a raised vertical line.  This tactile line will help you find parts of the FVM that you will need in order to make a transaction. 
FVM coin slot highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Coin Slot
At the top of this raised line, you will find the coin slot. The FVM accepts nickels, dimes,quarters, $1 dollar coins, and old T-tokens.
FVM card target highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Card Target
As you follow the raised line going down, you will find text in print and Braille which reads "Card Target". Raised arrows (located near the text) point directly to the card target.  You will need to use the card target when making CharlieCard transactions.
FVM bill slot highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Bill Insert
As you continue to follow the raised line going down, you will find text in raised lettering and in Braille which reads “bills”.  Raised arrows near the text point directly to the area where 1, 5, 10, or 20 dollar bills are inserted into the FVM. You will need to utilize the bill insert when making transactions using cash.
FVM ticket slots highlighted. Click to enlarge. The CharlieTicket Slots
Approximately 1 foot below the touch screen are two slots side-by-side.  The slot on the left is where your CharlieTicket and your receipt will be issued.  The slot on the right is where you will insert your CharlieTicket if you choose to add value to your CharlieTicket. Tickets are also issued through the right ticket slot.
 
FVM change tray highlighted. Click to enlarge. The Change Tray
As you follow the raised line to its end, you will find text in raised lettering and in Braille which reads “change”.  The change slot is located to the left of the raised line.

How to Use the FVM

Screen shot of FVM beginning screen. Click to enlarge.
  • To begin your transaction with the FVM, simply touch the screen.
Customer tagging CharlieCard onto the card target of the FVM. Click to enlarge.
  • If you have a CharlieCard, simply tap your card on the black card reader with the small green light. A screen will appear displaying the card's remaining balance and passes that are stored on your CharlieCard.
Screen shot of Welcome to the MBTA main menu. Click to enlarge.
  • If you do not have a CharlieCard, select the "Purchase New CharlieTicket" option (to purchase bus and subway tickets, commuter rail tickets, or passes) or insert your CharlieTicket into the FVM to add value to it. If you would like FVM instructions to be provided to you in Spanish or Chinese, select the appropriate option at the bottom of the screen.
Screen shot of Purchase CharlieTicket menu. Click to enlarge.
  • If you select the "Purchase New CharlieTicket" option, select the type of CharlieTicket you would like to purchase. After making your selection, follow the instructions on the screen to complete your transaction.

Adding Value or Passes to Your CharlieCard/CharlieTicket

To add value or a pass to a CharlieCard:

Customer tagging CharlieCard onto the card target of the FVM. Click to enlarge.
  • Simply tap your card on the black card reader with the small green light.
Screen shot of main menu after touching your CharlieCard to the card target. Click to enlarge.
  • Using the touch screen, select either “Add Value” or “Purchase Passes”. Following the instructions on the screen, select the amount of money you would like to add to your CharlieCard or, if the "Purchase Passes" option is selected, select a pass type.
Screen shot of payment menu. Click to enlarge.
  • Choose your payment method. The machines accept cash, coins, credit or debit cards. Follow the on screen directions to complete your purchase.
Customer tagging CharlieCard onto the card target of the FVM to complete transaction. Click to enlarge.
  • Tap your card again on the card reader in order to recharge your card and complete the transaction.

Adding Value To Your CharlieTicket

To add value to your CharlieTicket:

Customer inserting CharlieTicket into the ticket slot of the FVM. Click to enlarge.
  • Insert theTicket in the ticket slot located approximately 1 foot below the touch screen.
Screen shot of main menu after inserting a CharlieTicket. Click to enlarge.
  • Using the touch screen, select “Add Value.” Following the instructions on the screen, select the amount of money you would like to add to your CharlieTicket.
Screen shot of payment screen. Click to enlarge.
  • Choose your payment method. The machines accept cash, coins, credit or debit cards. Follow the on screen directions to complete your purchase.
CharlieTicket in Ticket Slot of FVM. Click to enlarge.
  • The FVM will return your upgraded CharlieTicket to you once the transaction is complete.

Checking The Remaining Balance on a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket

To check the remaining balance/information on your card or ticket at the fare vending machine:

Customer tagging CharlieCard onto the card target of the FVM. Click to enlarge. Customer inserting CharlieTicket into the ticket slot of the FVM. Click to enlarge.
  • Tap the card on the black card reader or insert your CharlieTicket into the ticket slot.
Screen shot of Card/Ticket Info screen. Click to enlarge.
  • Select the “Card/Ticket Information” button. Your balance will appear on the screen.

How to Use the FVM (Using the Audio Function)

To make transactions using the FVM's audio function, please follow the directions below. To ensure your privacy, an earphone jack is available just below the lower left hand corner of the touch screen.

  • To begin using the FVM, press the number 5 key. This will activate the audio function.
  • If you have a CharlieCard, use the raised tactile line (located to the right of the keypad) to locate the card reader.
  • Once you have located the card reader, tap your card onto the card reader. The remaining balance and any passes that are stored on your card will be read to you.
  • If you do not have a CharlieCard, select option 1 to "Purchase New CharlieTicket" (to purchase bus and subway tickets, commuter rail tickets, or passes) or insert your CharlieTicket into the FVM to add value to it. If you would like FVM instructions to be provided to you in Spanish or Chinese, select the appropriate option from the verbal prompt.
  • If you select the "Purchase New CharlieTicket" option (option 1), continue to follow the verbal prompts to complete your transaction.

Adding Value or Passes to Your CharlieCard (Using the Audio Function)

Please use the instructions below to add value or a pass to your CharlieCard using the audio function.

 
  • Press the number 5 on the numeric keypad to activate the audio function. 
 
  • Use the raised tactile line (located to the right of the keypad) to locate the card reader.
 
  • Tap your card onto the card reader. 
 
  • When prompted, select option #1 (to add value) or option #3 (to purchase passes).  
 
  • Follow the audio prompts to select the amount of money you would like to add to your card or to select a pass type. 
 
  • Use the audio prompts to select a payment method (cash, credit/debit card) and to pay for your transaction. 
 
  • Tap your card again on the card reader in order to recharge your card and complete the transaction. 

Adding Value to Your CharlieTicket (Using the Audio Function)

Please use the instructions below to add value to your CharlieTicket using the audio function. To ensure your privacy, an earphone jack is available just below the lower left hand corner of the touch screen.

 
  • Press the number 5 on the numeric keypad to activate the audio function. 
 
  • Insert the CharlieTicket in the ticket slot located approximately 1 foot below the touch screen. 
 
  • When prompted, select option #1 to add value to your CharlieTicket.
 
  • Follow the audio prompts to select the amount of money you would like to add to your CharlieTicket. 
 
  • Use the audio prompts to select a payment method (cash, credit/debit card) and to pay for your transaction. 
 
  • The FVM will return your upgraded CharlieTicket to you once the transaction is complete.

Checking The Remaining Balance on a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket (Using the Audio Function)

To check the remaining balance/information on your card or ticket at the fare vending machine: 

 
  • Press the number 5 key to activate the audio function. 
 
  • Tap the card onto the card reader or insert your CharlieTicket into the ticket slot. 
 
  • Select the “Card/Ticket Information” option (option 4). The card’s balance and any passes you have on the card will be read to you. If you have a pass on your CharlieCard, the pass’ expiry date will also be read to you.