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How to Pay

You may pay your fare in several ways, depending on the type of transportation you take. Select your choice of transportation below to see its payment options.

Step 1: Purchase a Ticket or Pass

You can pay your Bus fare with the following payment methods: CharlieCard, CharlieTicket, and cash on-board. Transfer fares may vary based on your payment method. One Way fares are cheaper when you pay with a CharlieCard versus a CharlieTicket or cash on-board.

You can purchase your Bus fare at a fare vending machine, on-board the bus, or at retail sales locations.

Fare Vending Machines

You can load any amount of money for One Way fares or a pass (1-Day, 7-Day, Monthly) onto a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket at fare vending machines found at all Subway stations and the following Commuter Rail stations:

Back Bay, Braintree, Forest Hills, JFK/UMass, Lynn, Malden Center, North Station, Porter Square, Quincy Center, Ruggles, South Station, Worcester/Union

Select Bus and Subway Stations

You can get a free, blank CharlieCard from an MBTA Customer Service agent working at the following stations:

Alewife, Arlington, Ashmont, Back Bay, Dudley Square, Forest Hills, Harvard Square, North Station, Oak Grove, Park, Ruggles

Retail Sales Locations

You can get blank CharlieCards and load any amount of money for One Way fares or a pass (1-Day, 7-Day, Monthly) at stores located throughout the Greater Boston and Providence areas.

Find a store near you

On-Board

One Way fare can be purchased using cash. You can also add value to a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket on-board. Exact change is encouraged.

Step 2: Pay Your Fare

The type of stop you are boarding the Subway determines how your fare will be paid. Most Subway stops have stations with fare entry gates that you must pay your fare at in order to enter the platform.

The Green Line has some above-ground stops. You have the option to pay with cash at these stops in addition to the CharlieCard or CharlieTicket payment methods. Fares are paid at fare boxes located in the front of Subway cars next to the driver.

Customer scanning a CharlieCard at a fare entry gate

Paying by CharlieCard

  1. Tap the CharlieCard onto the black card target.
  2. The fare box will beep once to inform you the appropriate amount has been deducted from your CharlieCard.
Tip: Three quick beeps from the fare box lets you know that either the machine was unable to read your card properly or that you do not have enough money on your card to pay the fare.

Customer inserting a CharlieTicke into a fare entry gate

Paying by CharlieTicket

  1. Insert your ticket into the ticket slot with the arrow facing away from you.
  2. The fare box will beep twice to inform you the appropriate amount has been deducted from your ticket.
Tip: Three quick beeps from the fare box lets you know that either the machine was unable to read your card properly or that you do not have enough money on your card to pay the fare.

Paying by Cash

On-board fare boxes accept coins and bills up to $20. Exact change is encouraged.
  1. Enter fare amount into coin slot and dollar insert.
  2. The fare box will beep once to inform you that you have paid the right amount.

Tip: If you insert more money than it costs for a One Way fare, the difference will be loaded onto a CharlieTicket dispensed from the on-board fare box.