MBTA Student Semester Pass

Those interested in purchasing Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Semester Passes for the 2018 Fall semester must apply before the application deadline of 4 p.m., Friday, August 10, 2018. Many students will be away from campus on this date, so if you are interested in ordering a Fall Student Semester Pass, order now! No applications, cancellations, or refunds can be processed once the Fall semester deadline has passed. These are policies set by the MBTA and are not subject to change.

Note: MBTA Fall Semester Passes will be valid during each of the following months:

  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Semester Link, Local Bus, Inner Express, and Outer Express passes will be loaded on to a CharlieCard, which will remain valid for the entire from September 1 – December 31, 2018.

Applying for a Student Semester Pass

To apply online, go to the Student Link and select “MBTA Semester Pass” from the express link menu, log in using your Boston University login name and Kerberos password, and then follow the on-screen instructions. If you do not have a BU login name and Kerberos password, select the Student Link’s “Basics” tab and then select “Read Me First/Getting Started” for instructions.

Applications, cancellations, or refunds cannot be processed after this MBTA deadline.

Those wishing to order this pass in person may do so by  bringing up a completed Fall 2018 Semester Pass application. If you are applying in person the methods of payment accepted are check and credit card. Students Account may only be chosen as a method of payment by students applying for their pass online. Parking & Transportation Services is located on the first floor of 1019 Commonwealth Avenue and is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

NOTE: Students wishing to charge their student account must be registered full-time and in good standing to charge their account on the date of the deadline.

Note: CharlieCards issued for the Semester Pass program are only valid for the time period specified. DO NOT add a monthly pass or fare value to your CharlieCard as the card will expire when the program ends. Fall Semester Pass CharlieCards expire on December 31 and Spring Semester Pass CharlieCards expire on May 31.

How do I pick up my Semester Pass?

Local Bus, Inner Express Bus, Outer Express Bus, and Link Pass cards are valid for the entire duration of the program; you only need to pick up the pass once and continue using through the final expiration date.

Commuter Rail passes must be picked up on or after the 27th of each preceding month (e.g., your February pass would be available for pickup on January 27). Commuter Rail passes will be available for monthly pickup at Parking & Transportation Services, located on the first floor of 1019 Commonwealth Avenue, unless on-campus mail room delivery is specified.*

* Eligible campus residents can choose to pick up their monthly passes from their residence hall mail rooms but they must apply for their Semester Passes online and live in an eligible University housing facility to take advantage of the residence hall mail room pickup option. Note: You must provide the mail room attendant with positive identification (Terrier Card) and sign for your pass upon pickup—the passes will NOT be placed in your mailbox.

Is getting the Student Semester Pass right for me?

If you only need to use the Green Line and other Subway lines, along with Local Bus routes, and not any of the commuter rail stops, we recommend the LinkPass CharlieCard instead of the Zone 1A Charlie Ticket.

From a cost-benefit perspective, you may consider getting a CharlieCard through the MBTA; load it with a cash balance to pay for fares if they will be infrequent. If you believe you will be using MBTA services daily, then the Semester Pass program is probably right for you. The Semester Pass program offers an 11% discount off of the regular monthly “T” pass price.

If you are uncertain of which pass is best for you, more information is available online, or you can call Parking & Transportation Services at 617-353-2160 or email a member of the PTS staff and request assistance.

You must be an enrolled full-time student to charge the Semester Pass to your student account; all other students must pay for the Semester Pass program at the Parking & Transportation Services office using check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). Law students are unlikely to meet the full-time class registration deadline and will therefore be required to pay to enroll in the Student Semester Pass program at the PTS office.

A Semester Pass CharlieCard has the following advantages over Charlie Tickets:

  • Easy tap-and-go use on the bus or subway
  • Can be replaced within 3–5 business days if lost, stolen, or damaged  (To report a lost pass, please email the PTS office and include your BU ID number)
  • Are valid all semester long

All other pass types will be provided on Charlie Tickets, which are valid for one month.