Frequently Asked Questions About Public Transportation
View parking and T-pass FAQs specific to the Access MIT program on the Access MIT FAQ page.
How do I apply for a subsidized T-pass?
You can apply for your T-pass through Atlas.
Benefits-eligible faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars (fellows and associates) who work on the Cambridge campus have free access to the subway and local bus systems through the Access MIT pass embedded in their MIT ID card or can apply for a subsidized commuter rail or commuter boat pass (which includes a subway and bus pass). Learn more about the Access MIT program.
Lexington-based employees who have payroll deductions and do not have a full-time off-campus parking account or campus resident parking account can apply for a subsidized T-pass.
All MIT students enrolled in a degree program are eligible for the T-pass program except students who have campus resident parking accounts. Note: Cross-registered and visiting students are not eligible.
Affiliates, spouses, children, temporary employees, and visiting scholars who are not paid by MIT cannot apply for a subsidized T-pass. Faculty and students with an off-campus parking account or a campus resident parking account are also ineligible.
When a student graduates, can he or she still apply for a subsidized T-pass?
No, only registered students who have a current bursar's account can get a subsidized T-pass.
The monthly T-passes subsidized through MIT cover several different transportation modes and a range of zones:
- Local bus only (free for those who have the Access MIT pass)
- Local bus and subway (free for those who have the Access MIT pass)
- Commuter rail plus local bus and subway, in an expanding series of zones
- Inner express bus plus Silver Line, subway, and local bus
- Outer express bus plus Inner express bus, Silver Line, subway, and local bus
- Commuter boat plus local bus and subway
The MBTA provides a broader range of passes (not all subsidized by MIT), and you can view a list of types of T-passes here.
Can I pay by credit card, check, or cash for my subsidized T-pass?
Faculty and Staff: No, you can only pay through a payroll deduction.
Students: No, you can only pay through your bursar's (student) account.
What do pre-tax and post-tax dollars mean?
You could see two deductions on your pay stub for your T-pass: a pre-tax amount and a post-tax amount based on the current tax law. Pre-tax deductions offer a cost savings by reducing your taxable income. Pre-tax monthly deductions are limited by tax law, so a portion of your T-pass cost may be deducted from your payroll as a post-tax deduction (which doesnít reduce your taxable income).
How far in advance do I need to apply for a T-pass?
You have to apply one month and one day in advance. Example: If you want a T-pass for the month of November, you must apply for it before the last business day in September.
Why do I need to apply one month and day in advance for a T-pass?
The MBTA requires that T-pass orders be submitted one month in advance.
The deadline for those months has already passed.
If I am a faculty or staff member, do I apply every semester or every academic year for a subsidized T-pass?
You sign up just once for a monthly pass, and your T-pass will be renewed automatically each month until you cancel it.
If you want to order a T-pass at the beginning of a semester, when your Atlas account does not provide access, please email the Parking & Transportation office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a limited number of monthly and semester passes available to sell at the beginning of the semester but only during the last three business days of the month prior to activation and on the first business day of the month in which that pass will be active. Because only a limited number of passes are available, they are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For an October T-pass:
- The application deadline to apply for an October T-pass is August 31. An October T-pass will be available for pickup on the last three business days of September.
What is the difference between canceling a T-pass and suspending a T-pass?
Canceling a T-pass permanently closes your T-pass account. Suspending a T-pass allows you to temporarily stop your T-pass for automatically renewing, and you may resume renewal of the pass at a later date. T-pass accounts can be suspended for up to three months but no longer.
How far in advance do I need to cancel or suspend my T-pass account?
You have to cancel or suspend your T-pass account on or before the 15th of the previous month. Example: If you want to cancel your T-pass account starting in July, you must cancel your account no later than June 15.
How do I resume my T-pass account after suspending it?
You can resume your T-pass account after suspending it by going through Atlas and making the request one month and one day before you want the T-pass to be activated. Your old pass will no longer work, and you will need to pick up a new pass from the Atlas Service Center during the last three business days of the month prior to activation or on the first business day of the month in which that pass will be active.
How do I change information, cancel, or suspend my T-pass after I submitted my application?
You can perform these actions through Atlas.
Please note that you must submit your cancellation or suspension request by the 15th of a month in order for the change to take effect the following month. Any other change must be made one month and one day in advance.
No, it's your responsibility to cancel your account.
T-passes ordered online through Atlas are available for pick up at the Atlas Service Center (E17-106) from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the last three business days of the month prior to activation and any time during the month or semester in which that pass is active.
Can someone pick up my T-pass for me?
Yes. The person who picks up your T-pass for you must bring the following items:
- His or her MIT ID
- Your MIT ID or a photocopy of your MIT ID
- A letter from you authorizing that person to sign for the pass
Students must pick up their T-pass at the Atlas Service Center (E17-106).
Employees may choose to have their T-pass mailed to their home or office. Please note, the Parking & Transportation Office is not responsible for T-passes that get lost in the USPS mail system.
Can I pick up my T-pass in the middle of the month?
Yes, if you have paid for it. Your T-pass will be held for you in the Atlas Service Center (E17-106). Please keep in mind that there are no partial or full refunds, and you will be charged the full monthly cost no matter when you pick it up.
Yes, you will be charged for it if you havenít canceled it.
If I lose my T-pass, can it be replaced?
- The Parking and Transportation office can provide a replacement pass for a lost monthly bus, monthly subway/bus, or semester pass for a fee of $25.00 (students and Lexington employees).
- Similarly, Cambridge employees who lose their MIT ID and its Access Pass will also be charged $25 for a replacement.
- Lost or stolen commuter rail, express bus, or commuter boat passes must be replaced at an MBTA station where passes are sold and will be replaced at the MBTA rate with no discount.
The Parking Office is not responsible for replacing T-passes that get lost in the USPS mail system.