The MBTA’s contactless payment system has a start date

Local News

Contactless payment on buses, Green Line and Mattapan Line trolleys, and all subway stations will be accepted starting Aug. 1.


MBTA passengers will soon have the option of paying for their rides on the T with just the tap of a smartphone or credit card. 

The transit agency announced Tuesday that their contactless payment option on buses, at subway stations, and on the Green Line and Mattapan Line trolleys will roll out on Aug. 1. 

CharlieCards will not be impacted and can still be used for regular fares, and they still need to be used for weekly or monthly passes, according to the MBTA. The transit agency said the contactless, pay-as-you-go payment option is intended to save time for riders who want to avoid purchasing or reloading a CharlieCard.

“Transitioning to this contactless system is a part of the next generation of transportation that our riders deserve,” Transportation Secretary Monica Tibbits-Nutt said in a statement. “This will allow them to save time and make it easier for riders and travelers to pay and board as they use the system.”

According to the MBTA, riders in reduced fare programs, such as seniors and students, can link their benefits to the contactless credit card, debit card, smartphone, or watch they want to use for the payments.

The new fare readers began showing up across the MBTA system in 2023, but the efforts to overhaul the MBTA’s fare collection process were plagued by delays and millions of dollars in budget increases. 

In a statement, MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng said he was proud of the progress made by the agency to rollout the new system following a “course correction” last year. Cubic Transportation Systems, the company the MBTA partnered with for the new contactless option, has worked on updating public transit payment systems in other major cities, including New York City. 

“This lays the groundwork for the fare payment system of the future, incorporating our fare structure including the recently approved Income-Eligible Reduced Fares,” Eng said. “The MBTA team’s steadfast dedication to bring this initiative to fruition along with our partner Cubic, worked collaboratively, solving challenges to demonstrate our commitment to the public. I thank our riders for their patience as we continue to build a system that they can rely on and be proud of.”

According to the MBTA, passengers can manage the contactless option they want to use — card, phone, or watch — through an online Charlie account at

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