Access MIT FAQ
How do I get an ID card with the free MBTA subway and local bus pass chip in it?
New benefits-eligible employees on the Cambridge campus will automatically receive an MIT ID card with an MBTA CharlieCard chip embedded in it and can use it at any time for free subway and local bus fares. Employees with older ID cards can upgrade their IDs at the MIT Card Office in the Atlas Service Center, Building E17-106.
The MBTA-enabled ID is part of Access MIT, a broad initiative launched in June 2016 to change the culture of commuting and transportation on campus and minimize our impact on our environment by encouraging the use of low-carbon forms of transportation whenever possible. All MIT IDs issued to benefits-eligible Cambridge employees after June 2016 have the embedded chips to ensure that public transit is always an easy, accessible, and free alternative to driving.
What about privacy and tracking? I’m concerned about who has access to this information if I get an ID card with an MBTA chip embedded in it.
Other than containing an MBTA pass, your new ID will collect and treat information in exactly the same way as your old ID card. Local bus and subway usage data will be used by the MBTA to periodically calculate costs and invoice MIT. All information collection, storage, and use will continue to be governed by MIT policy.
If I get a new ID with an MBTA chip in it, can I still submit for bike commuter benefits?
Are you measuring the impact of this program?
Yes. In collaboration with the MIT Transit Lab, we will study the overall impact of these changes on our campus and surrounding community. We hope that our research-based approach will provide unique insight into the effectiveness of Access MIT and position us as a leader in smart, low-carbon commuting programs. We encourage you to explore public transportation options, even a few days a month, as reduction in car trips to campus will lower MIT’s commuter-related emissions, ease parking demand, and reduce our contribution to traffic congestion.
Can I use the T-pass for trips other than to commute to MIT? And can I use it outside of work hours?
Yes, you can use your T-pass to go anywhere, anytime, for whatever reason! MIT does not impose any restrictions on the pass.
If I buy a commuter rail pass, do I still get a free bus/subway pass on my ID card?
The commuter rail pass includes the bus and subway service, so you will not need to use the Access MIT pass in your ID card. The ID card will have the chip, but the chip will be disabled as long as you have the commuter rail pass.
I’ve never traveled on the MBTA before. Can you provide information for me to plan my commute using public transportation?
Is MIT doing anything to improve service on subway and bus lines?
As part of our ongoing relationship with the MBTA, MIT will continue to advocate for improved services and collaborate on strategies to address challenges.
How do I get reimbursed for parking at a commuter rail station?
Upload your MBTA parking lot receipts to the Transit Reimbursement smart form on Atlas and submit them on a monthly basis.
Do all MIT employees get Access MIT benefits?
Currently, this program is only available to Cambridge campus faculty and staff who are eligible for benefits and who don’t have an off-campus parking account or a resident parking account.
Do I get Access MIT benefits if I work at Lincoln Lab or another off-site location?
This program is only available to Cambridge campus faculty and staff because it was designed to enhance public transit options in this dense urban area.
If I’m a student, do I receive a free MBTA pass as part of this program?
Currently, this program is being funded through the MIT employee benefits program and only Cambridge campus benefits-eligible employees can participate. Students will continue to receive a 50% subsidy on their monthly T-pass. Students also have a Charlie Chip in their ID that they can add value to.
What about postdocs, do they receive the Access MIT benefits?
Postdoctoral associates who work on the Cambridge campus are eligible for all elements of this benefit unless they have full-time off-campus or campus resident parking. Postdoctoral fellows may or may not be eligible, depending on the details of their appointment, and should contact email@example.com to learn more.