MTBA CharlieCards Now Available in Watertown

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The following information was provided by MassDOT:

The MBTA announced that the Town of Watertown has partnered with the T in the growing initiative to increase the availability of CharlieCards to residents who rely on public transportation.

Under the initiative, free no-balance CharlieCards are available at the following Watertown locations:

•        Watertown Town Hall
149 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

CharlieCards available in the Clerk’s Office on the ground floor and in the Planning Department on the third floor.

•         Watertown Free Public Library
123 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472

The Town of Watertown joins a growing list of Cities and Towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards. The City of Chelsea partnered with the MBTA in January 2019 with CharlieCards pre-loaded with $5 as well as free no-balance CharlieCards available in the Treasury Office of Chelsea City Hall. CharlieCards available in the City of Lynn and the City of Salem are also coming soon.

“Expanded access to CharlieCards means more MBTA customers can take advantage of lower fares available through a re-loadable CharlieCard,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to thank the Town of Watertown for their partnership and we hope this initiative makes the T even more accessible for our customers.” 

“We are so happy to be able to make CharlieCards available to our residents and employees,” said Watertown’s Senior Transportation Planner Laura Wiener. “It can sometimes be difficult to find CharlieCards, which provide a discount for riders. We hope providing this easy access to cards will make riding the bus and subway more attractive, and help to reduce congestion and pollution in the Town.”

Unlike CharlieTickets, CharlieCards are reusable plastic cards that can be routinely loaded with stored cash value or one-day, seven-day, or monthly passes. As a way to encourage use of CharlieCards, cardholders pay lower single-ride fares on bus and subway services than customers who pay cash or hold a CharlieTicket. CharlieCards also offer enhanced options for transfers over tickets and cash.

CharlieCard availability has historically been concentrated around major rapid-transit hubs. Similarly, fare vending machines are clustered around rapid-transit stations. Under this initiative, the MBTA continues to acknowledge that access to cards needs to increase, especially in communities with a higher reliance on buses. 

The MBTA hopes to partner with additional nonprofit organizations or Cities and Towns to provide residents with CharlieCards, either blank or pre-loaded with a dollar amount for purchase. By providing easier access to CharlieCards, the T hopes to incentivize riders to use CharlieCards and fare vending machines throughout their travels, resulting in a savings of both time and money. Organizations and communities seeking to partner in this effort should contact MBTA Chief Customer Officer Danny Levy at

4 thoughts on “MTBA CharlieCards Now Available in Watertown

    • I don’t think you can reload money on a CharlieCard at Town Hall or the Library. There is no machine, but they have a stack of cards.

      You can now reload it on the MBTA website. However, last time I checked it took until the next morning to show up on the card.

  1. This doesn’t do much good until there are convenient places to add a pass or value to a Charlie Card. The Transportation Task Force has asked the MBTA for years to increase the number of outlets. (At present, I believe that Tedeschi’s in Watertown Square is the only place to buy a pass.)

    There is no excuse for not having a fare machine at the Watertown Square bus terminal. There should also be options in Coolidge Square among other places. If riders could buy passes or add value before boarding, the efficiency of our bus service would increase noticeably. But the T doesn’t seem to grasp this concept, or care. Very sad situation.

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