MBTA Student Passes

Your Student MBTA Card

There are two types of Student MBTA Cards (Charlie Cards) - M7 Cards and S Cards. The M7 Card is issued based on income eligibility, and the S Card is available to any current CRLS or HSEP student.

General Guidelines
  • You may use your Student Charlie Card for as long as you are a student at CRLS or HSEP. The student card is automatically canceled on August 31 of each year.
  • You are the only person authorized to use the Charlie Card that has been issued to you. It cannot be shared with or transferred to anyone else.
  • Student MBTA cards have value, and should be kept as securely as cash or credit cards.
How to use your M7 Card
The City of Cambridge automatically pays the monthly fee for M7 Cards that can be issued to students who qualify, based on income guidelines.
This card will give you unlimited access to subway, buses, and Commuter Rail Zones 1A, 1, and 2, free of charge. Funds will automatically be added to the card at the start of each month from September through June. During July and August you may add funds to the card, paying the discounted student rate of $30 per month.

How to use your S Card
You must add cash value to your card at an MBTA vending machine or when you board an MBTA bus. There are two options for your discounted student rate:
  • Half-fare (Pay as you Go): Add funds to your S Card in order to ride the MBTA bus, subway or commuter rail at half price. Funds will be deducted every time you ride, and you can add cash value at any time.
  • Monthly 7-Day (Monthly Fee): Between the 1st and 14th of every month, pay a $30 monthly fee to purchase a monthly pass. The pass gives you access to unlimited rides on the MBTA bus or subway. (S Cards may not be used on the commuter rail). During July and August, you will need to pay as you go - Monthly passes are only valid during the school year.
Where do I pick up a card? MBTA Student Card Distribution Process

M7 Cards:
Food Service letters for free card eligibility will be mailed and emailed to CRLS students. Students/families should forward the letter to us via email requesting their card.

S Cards:
Students should send an email requesting a card.

Distribution Options:
  1. The main office clerk will verify students and mail the pass to the Aspen home address. Cards will not be activated until the student/caregiver confirms receipt of the card by email.
  2. In person distribution will be just outside the CRLS main entrance. A table will be set up outdoors for a set number of hours where students and/or caregivers can pick up their card on a certain day of the week.
    a. Students that want an M7 Card must bring their Food Services Letter to pick-up and have a photo id.
    b. Students requesting an S Card will need to provide their name, student ID number and photo id.
    i. Pick-up will be only on the date(s) and time(s) designated and pick-up will require a photo id for the reloadable (S Card) and a photo id and Food Service Letter for the M7.
    ii. Other than the Aspen listed caregiver, no one can pick up a card on behalf of an eligible student. An eligible student cannot pick up a card for another eligible student (i.e. sibling)
  3. When families/students are permitted to come into the building/main office for their cards, we will set up a schedule for them to do so.
A distribution table will be set-up outside the CRLS main entrance on the following days:

If you would like to pick up a card you can do so on according to the following schedule

 Date   Time   Location 
 Wednesday, September 8th, 2021  11AM - 1PM  Outside of Main Entrance
 Thursday, September 9th, 2021  3 - 4PM  Outside of Main Entrance
 Friday, September 10th, 2021  3 - 4PM  Outside of Main Entrance
 Monday, September 13th, 2021  3 - 4PM  Outside of Main Entrance
 Tuesday, September 14th, 2021  3 - 4PM  Outside of Main Entrance

If you are unable to pick up these cards in person during these specified pick-up times, please send an email.


Students will be assigned a single card to be used throughout the school year. A limited quantity is provided to CRLS, and replacements may not be available for lost or stolen cards.

If You Lose Your Charlie Card
  • If you lose your S or M7 Card, please notify the CRLS main office by email immediately, to see if you can get a replacement. With a limited number of Charlie Cards, replacement is not guaranteed but we will try!
  • The MBTA will not refund the value remaining on a “Pay as You Go” S-Card.
  • If you chose the Monthly 7-day option, the MBTA may be able to issue a temporary paper pass for the rest of the month.
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