Watch CBS News

MBTA riders can soon tap-to-pay in Massachusetts. Here's what riders should know.

MBTA debuts contactless pay on August 1.
MBTA debuts contactless pay on August 1. 00:26

BOSTON - Starting August 1, the MBTA will no longer require a Charlie Card to ride parts of the T. Its new contactless pay system will be ready in August to be used on buses, the Green Line, the Mattapan Line trolleys and at subway fare gates.

How does contactless pay work?

Riders will be able to buy their fare using a tap-to-pay credit or debit card or a phone or smartwatch with a mobile wallet. Instead of reloading a Charlie Card, riders can tap their card or device on the reader wherever they see a contactless symbol.

The MBTA said that the tap-to-pay readers will be near vehicle doors on buses and trollies and cautioned riders to hold purses and bags away from the contactless readers to avoid accidental taps.  

MBTA General Manager Phillip Eng said riders have been asking for contactless pay in Boston. "I've seen directly at other transit properties and heard firsthand from many riders about the importance of contactless payment and how it would greatly enhance the experience of using mass transit."  

What about those with reduced fares?

Riders in reduced fare programs will be able to link their benefits to their contactless payment.

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

The MBTA said current ways to pay will still be available, so riders can use passes or CharlieCards. More information is available at  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.