Last week, I wrote a quick post about where to buy fares and add value to a CharlieCard. Click here to read that post. Some other questions about that I think people wonder about with MBTA fares are:
- What is the fare or pass that is best your trip?
- Where can you find fare vending machines at stations?
The first question involves a flowchart that I have not even finished yet. Maybe I’ll finish it before the T makes their changes for the Fare Transformation program? If I do, I’ll post it the flowchart on another post. However, the second question above is something that I think I can write more about. Read more below about finding the fare vending machines in Cambridge and Somerville.
Where, specifically, are the fare vending machines on the Red and Green Lines in Cambridge and Somerville?
MBTA stations can have one or many entrances. Most stations have one entrance. I think South Station and Downtown Crossing may be the stations with the most individual entrances in the system.
Where there are many entrances, the MBTA doesn’t always put fare vending machines at every single entrance. Also, many stations have entrances that are not accessible to people with disabilities, especially those with mobility impairments, which mean those who use wheeled mobility devices, walkers, or canes. An elevator helps reduce barriers for people with disabilities and when other riders need to bring other things with them, like baby carriages. Because, the MBTA does not put much information online about accessibility or locations of fare vending machines, it is hard to track down the information you need. Sometimes even, you can be caught surprised that you cannot load a fare or pass on your CharlieCard or buy a ticket for your trip because you are at the wrong entrance.
So, here’s some information based on my own trips around the Rapid Transit system in Cambridge and Somerville. Excitingly, the Green Line to Medford opened this week on December 12. I was able to visit and verify all the information on fare vending machines on opening day, so, this is current as of December 12.
A quick tip: if you ride the subway occasionally, make sure you put a few bucks in your CharlieCard as you are leaving the station, especially if you don’t normally have much on there. Then, the next time you take the subway, whether it’s the same day or days later, you won’t have to worry that you need to add cash value as you are rushing to catch a train.
Red Line stations
- Inbound and outbound, entrances nearest Broadway: no fare vending machines and no elevators
- Inbound and outbound, entrances on Main Street at the midblock crosswalk: elevator available to go downstairs, fare vending machine by the faregates
- Pearl Street or Essex Street: no fare vending machines and no elevators
- Inbound and outbound main entrances: Elevator available to go downstairs, fare vending machines by the faregates
- Prospect Street or Western Avenue: No elevators to go downstairs, fare vending machines by the faregates
- Main mezzanine at Harvard Square plaza: Elevator to go downstairs to the main mezzanine, fare vending machines by the faregate
- Church Street: No elevators, fare vending machines by faregates
- Brattle Square: Elevator to busway, walk to ramp to main mezzanine for fare vending machines
- Main entrance from Somerville Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue: two elevators to go downstairs (access on Somerville Avenue), in mezzanine, fare vending machines by faregates
- West entrance from Massachusetts Avenue to commuter rail platform: No elevators, no faregates; walk into mezzanine for fare machines.
- College Avenue: elevator to go downstairs, leads to walkway and central entrance with fare vending machines
- Holland Avenue: no elevator to go downstairs, walkway to central entrance where you can find fare vending machines
- Main entrance, parking structure, and busway: elevators or ramps to go downstairs, walkways to central entrance with fare vending machines by faregates
- Russell Field/Comeau Field: fare vending machine by fare gates, one elevator to platform
Green Line stations
- North First Street entrance: with two elevators, fare vending machines are closest to North First Street
- East Street entrance: with one elevator, fare vending machines are closest to the intersection of O’Brien Highway and East Street
- Busway: no elevators needed, two of three shelters have fare vending machines
- Main entrance: with elevator or ramp from Prospect Street, two fare vending machines after entrance
- Washington Street entrance: 2 fare vending machines, access from Community path or access ramp from Washington Street
- School Street entrance: with elevator and 2 fare vending machines, access directly from School Street
- Medford Street entrance: with elevator and 2 fare vending machines, access via Community Path from Medford Street
- Main entrance: with 2 elevators and 2 fare vending machines, access from Lowell Street
- Broadway entrance: with elevator and 2 fare vending machines
- Boston Avenue entrance: no elevator needed and 2 fare vending machines
- Boston Avenue entrance: with 2 elevators, 2 fare vending machines, and 2 all-user toilets