The MBTA today announced a new customer-driven Commuter Rail fare product pilot to begin July 1: the Five-day Flex Pass on mTicket, a bundled fare good for any five days of travel within a thirty-day period. With the understanding that travel patterns are changing and many employers are exploring new ways of working like staggered schedules and telework policies, this new fare product aims to serve Commuter Rail riders whose commutes may change as they return to using the system during the Commonwealth’s reopening phases. This product also comes as part of the MBTA’s Fare Transformation program, which aims to make paying for transit easier and more convenient.
“We understand our Commuter Rail riders need another fare option as travel patterns adjust and many previous daily commuters see their post-pandemic work schedules changing,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Using mTicket, Commuter Rail customers can purchase a Flex Pass and use their five one-day passes any day within a thirty-day period, giving riders the flexibility to travel when they need to, using an option that’s cheaper than the traditional roundtrip ticket.”
The Five-day Flex Pass Pilot will take place beginning July 1 through September 30 and is available within the mTicket app only. Once activated within mTicket, the Flex Pass provides five one-day passes that can be used at any time in a thirty-day period. Available for all zones and interzones, the price of a Five-day Flex Pass is a 10% discount when compared to five round-trip tickets.
Youth Pass Improvements:
As part of this pilot, beginning July 1, Youth Pass holders can now purchase half-price fares for all Commuter Rail zones at ticket windows, onboard, and via the mTicket app, which was not previously available to Youth Pass holders. The Youth Pass Program is a partnership between the MBTA and participating cities and towns that offers young adults with low incomes roughly 50% reduced one-way fares or $30 monthly LinkPasses and was previously only available on bus and subway. Other recent Youth Pass updates include approval this past May by the Fiscal and Management Control Board of allowing Youth Pass holders to purchase half-price Zone 1A Commuter Rail tickets. This half-price Zone 1A Youth Pass ticket is available through the use of Fairmount Line validators, at ticket windows, and onboard trains beginning upon the commencement of the Fairmount Line Weekday Service Piloton Monday, June 22.
Additional Commuter Rail Fare Improvements:
The MBTA also announced a one-time extension of its Commuter Rail ticket expiration policy. Understanding that many Commuter Rail customers were unable to use their tickets and passes due to the recent stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, beginning June 22, Commuter Rail customers may use expired paper tickets that were valid on March 10, 2020, onboard for the next ninety days. For expired mTickets, customers do not need to take any action – the MBTA will automatically push new mTickets to customers’ apps on June 22 for use over the next ninety days. If customers do not use these tickets before they expire, the MBTA will push re-expired tickets at the end of the state of emergency. Customers also should note that the MBTA is unable to re-issue tickets earlier than June 22.