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Several Boston health centers to hand out CharlieCards loaded with $5 each

With a grant from the Boston Foundation, the MBTA says it will provide CharlieCards to several Boston community health centers in neighborhoods where residents might otherwise have trouble getting one of the fare cards.

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Mattapan Community Health Center, South End Community Health Center, Uphams Corner Health Center, and Whittier Street Community Health Center will each get 1,000 CharlieCards, each loaded with $5 in value, to distribute, the T said today, adding the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers helped put the program together.

In a statement, T General Manager Steve Poftak said:

Too many of our customers have difficulty getting CharlieCards. This is especially true in transit-dependent communities where bus service is often the predominant mode of transportation. With today’s partnership announcement, we are addressing this issue by making CharlieCards more widely available and making taking the T more accessible.

Free tagging: 



Could you add a free mask along with the Charlie Card


EBNHC gives you a mask when you get A COVID test.

I carry a couple of brand-new, individually wrapped surgical masks (the blue 3-layer kind) in my pack. I've tried to give one (free) to a couple of different mom-and-pop store owners who weren't wearing one when I went into their shops. I also tried to give one to a guy sitting in the street, probably a homeless guy. None of them would take it, and typically gave me an argument or at least a funny look. And this was in Brookline or Boston, not in the boonies.

$10. $5 will only get you one round trip on the T.


Why is it that residents have trouble getting one of the fare cards?.

They don't live near places that sell them, T stations that give them out, or any fare box where they could at least get a CharlieTicket.

Mine expired back in January, and I had a pretty awful time trying to find a new one. Supposedly they're given out at Downtown Crossing/Park Street or other downtown stations, but no one there had any or could tell me where to go. I finally got lucky and found some at the top of the fare machines at Hynes, but that was pretty random chance as I was biking by and thought to check.


Looking at the T website, there’s lot of places to get CharlieCards, is the T lying?


You can contact customer service and they will mail you one for free. I got on at the Charlie Card store and for some reason those can't be registered in case you lose them.


If you're only an infrequent T user like I am, and the one time you need to take the T your card has expired, you can mail the card to them and they'll send you a new one with the balance transferred. I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly they got the new one to me.

You should be able to do the same in-person at the Charlie Card Store at DTX, when it's open.

I don't actually think it's difficult to get a CharlieCard. I think people just don't know where those places are. There are retail stores across the City where you can get a CharlieCard. You just have to search here:


One thing that would probably help is if the stores themselves had stickers in their front windows saying "CharlieCards available here."