T-Pass Program for Cambridge Campus Employees
MBTA Commuter Rail pass distribution
Please note that no action is required if you are not purchasing a monthly pass but wish to use the local bus and subway lines. You have the Access MIT chip embedded in your MIT ID, and your access to free, unrestricted use of local bus and subway systems will continue.
The Access MIT program provides many commuter benefits for Cambridge-based benefits-eligible MIT faculty and staff, including:
- Free, unrestricted use of the MBTA subway and local bus systems through the Access MIT pass embedded in your MIT ID card
- A 60% discount on monthly MBTA public transit passes (or “T-passes”) for:
- Monthly Commuter Rail pass (commuter rail plus local bus and subway, covering a range of zones)
- Monthly Express Bus pass (local bus, express bus, and subway)
- Monthly commuter boat pass (all ferries plus local bus and subway)
- 5-Day Flex Pass for commuter rail (10% MBTA discount plus 50% MIT discount); more information here
- A 50% discount for parking at MBTA stations, up to $100 per month
If you have an older ID that doesn’t include the Access MIT pass, stop by the MIT Card Office in Building E17-106 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, and we’ll upgrade and activate your new ID.
Who is eligible?
Faculty, staff, and 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.
- Any Cambridge-based employee with a full-time off-campus or campus resident parking account has free access to the subway and local bus systems through the Access MIT ID card but is not eligible to apply for a subsidized commuter rail pass, commuter boat pass, or discounted parking at MBTA stations.
- In addition, employees participating in a carpool are not eligible for a subsidized T-pass.
- Note that employees who participate in an MIT-subsidized monthly MBTA pass program, including the Flex Pass program, are not eligible for private transit reimbursement.
How and when to get a monthly T-pass, and how to renew it
You already have free, unrestricted use of the subway and local bus systems through the Access MIT pass embedded in your MIT ID card. If you want a discounted monthly commuter rail, express bus, or commuter boat pass, you can apply through the Atlas system.
To obtain a monthly T-pass for commuter rail, express bus, or commuter boat, you must complete the order in your Atlas account at least one month and one day in advance. The monthly pass will renew each month automatically unless you cancel it online. NOTE: If you obtain a monthly T-pass, the Access MIT chip inside your MIT ID card will be de-activated, and you will need to use the monthly pass to access the subway or local bus systems.
If you want to cancel or suspend your automatically renewing T-pass, you must do this through Atlas by the 15th of your final active month. The T-pass will continue auto-renewing until you cancel.
When and where to pick up the T-pass
Monthly T-passes can be mailed to your home or office address, or you can pick up your pass at the Atlas Service Center (E17-106, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) during the last three business days of the month prior to activation and any time during the month in which that pass is active.
Please note that the Parking & Transportation Office is not responsible for passes that get lost in the USPS mail system.
Buying a Flex Pass and how to get reimbursed for it
The Flex Pass is available exclusively on the MBTA’s mTicket mobile app and provides five round-trip tickets (discounted 10%) for commuter rail travel, good at any time during the 30-day period following the purchase. To access the 50% subsidy for the Flex Pass, upload your Flex Pass purchase receipt(s) to the Transit/Parking Reimbursement smart form on Atlas and submit them on a monthly basis. More information.
How to get reimbursed for parking at a commuter rail station
To access the 50% subsidy for parking at an MBTA station lot, upload your parking receipt(s) to the Transit/Parking Reimbursement smart form on Atlas and submit them on a monthly basis.
Pre-tax and/or post-tax payroll deduction for monthly passes
The T-pass cost for the upcoming month will be deducted automatically from the current month’s paycheck. For example, you will see a deduction on your paystub in October for your November T-pass.
Because the T-pass cost is deducted directly from your salary through a payroll deduction, your taxable monthly income is reduced by the amount of that deduction up to the maximum allowed under the tax rules. The balance of the monthly payment is a post-tax deduction that does not reduce your taxable income. If you want the entire amount deducted as a post-tax deduction, you must specifically request this option through Human Resources, in writing, before each October 1st.
On your paycheck, the “MBTA Pass” deduction displays your total cost. Adjustments to taxable income are displayed in the earnings section and labeled as “MBTA Fed Txbl Adj” and/or "MBTA MA Txbl Adj."
If payroll department is unable to deduct the fee
Because T-passes are purchased through MIT, your payment for T-passes must be made as a salary deduction. You cannot receive cash reimbursement for a T-pass purchase you make on your own.
If for any reason the payroll department is unable to deduct the fee from your paycheck, you will have to pay by credit card when you pick up the pass. If payroll is also unable to deduct the fee from your paycheck the next time it is due, and if the problem cannot be rectified, your T-pass account will be terminated.
To make any changes to your T-pass account, visit the Atlas website. T-pass accounts can be suspended for up to three months.
|MONTHLY PASS PRICES (EFFECTIVE FOR 2021-2022)|
|Zone||Regular Price||Subsidized Price|
|Inner Express Bus||$136.00||$54.40|
|Outer Express Bus||$168.00||$67.20|
|Hingham/Hull Commuter Ferry||$329.00||$131.60|
|Charlestown Inner Harbor Ferry||$90.00||$36.00|
To read other Frequently Asked Questions, go the T-pass FAQs page.