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MBTA Youth Pass FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about the MBTA Youth Pass.

The MBTA Youth Pass Program, facilitated by the Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement, provides thousands of qualified young people, ages 12-25, affordable transportation. The MBTA Youth Pass Program ensures that all young people in the City of Boston have ready access to public transportation.

Explore Youth Pass Program Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Youth Office of Engagement and Advancement at

Frequently Asked Questions


You may be eligible for a youth pass if you meet the following requirements:

  • You live in a participating city or town.
  • You are between 18 and 25 and are enrolled in a Youth Pass partner program, such as MassHealth, SNAP, Year Up, public housing, etc.
  • You are between 12 and 17 and are unable to get a Student CharlieCard through your middle or high school.

Boston residents enrolled in grades 7–12 are not eligible for a Youth Pass if they are out-of-district or attend the following:

  • Boston Public Schools (BPS)
  • Charter schools
  • Pilot schools
  • Innovation schools

If your middle or high school participates in the Student Pass Program, you are eligible for either an M7 Card or an S-Card at the beginning of every school year, depending on your school. M7 Cards are preloaded with passes and paid by schools for the entire school year, while S-Cards need to be loaded with cash value or passes by students, parents, or guardians. Check with your school to see if they are enrolled in the Student Pass Program.

Boston middle and high school students are eligible for a Student CharlieCard. Please reach out to your school for more information about receiving a Student Charlie Card. If you are between 12 and 18 years old and cannot get a Student CharlieCard (M7 Card or S-Card) through your school, you may be eligible for a Youth Pass.

The Youth Pass Program runs year round, and offers reduced fares on bus, subway, Commuter Rail, Express Bus, and ferry to cardholders.

  • The MBTA Youth Pass currently runs from October 1st to October 31st of each calendar year. If you have a Youth Pass for the current program year, the last day of the program year is printed on the back of the card. Communication is sent out in the months prior to re-enrollment to notify Youth Pass users.
  • The MBTA Youth Pass operates on a rolling basis so users can apply for the program at any point in the program year.

You can register for the Youth Pass Program here.

As part of the Youth Pass application process, you must provide proof of age and residency; and for applicants between the ages of 18-25, proof of enrollment in at least one MBTA-approved program. Examples of accepted documents can be found here.

All BPS students are eligible for an M7 Student Charlie Card. These are free for students, and work year round without interruption or needing to do anything. They can usually get these cards through their school guidance counselors.

Last year was the first year student passes were active throughout the summer, so there were issues with the drivers not being aware they could accept them. Furthermore, if students lost or damaged their passes, schools were closed and there was confusion on who they could go to to have them replaced. Contact the BPS transportation team located at the Bruce C. Bolling Building, in case this comes up again this summer.

The Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement runs the MBTA Youth Pass Program. Through this program, passes are $30 a month (standard cost is $90), or can be manually loaded and paid for by the rider for 50% reduced one way fares. Passes can be picked up at the OYEA office or mailed out to youth. Passes last until the end of the program year (October 31st), and can be reloaded at any MBTA fare machine. We strongly encourage all BPS students to get a pass through their schools and not our office, as we would rather them get a free pass than pay the monthly fee.

If a fare gate or fare box says that your card is inactive, or doesn't permit entry, your card may be inactive, expired or damaged. For lost, broken, de-magnetized, or expired cards, you can get a replacement card.

  • Online:
    • You can request a replacement card online. You will receive your card in the mail within 5 days of your request being approved, and any stored value or passes will automatically be transferred to the new replacement card.
  • In Person:

You will receive your new replacement card on the spot. To transfer stored value or passes onto your new card, you’ll need to visit the CharlieCard Store. You must have both your old and new card serial numbers with you.

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