Acting Mayor Kim Janey has launched an effort to provide free Charlie Cards to T riders who work in five of Boston's neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19.
At a rally on Monday in from of the MBTA headquarters in Boston, Janey joined several dozen advocates and riders calling on the MBTA to restore the transit services that were cut during the pandemic and announced that Boston will give T passes preloaded with $60 to nearly 1,000 workers. These workers will also receive free Blue Bike passes for two months.
The free cards will be offered from March 29 through April 19, which is when the pilot program ends. The initiative will support employees in several neighborhoods comprising what Janey called “the heart of our city” including Nubian Square, Jackson Square, Hyde Square, Canary Square, Mission Hill, East Boston and Fields Corner — places that have recorded some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in Boston.
"Restoring public transportation is essential to our recovery, reopening and renewal as a city," Janey said. "It will make Boston more fair and more equitable. ... The city stands ready to be a partner."
The acting mayor said that she is working on a funding source to continue the free T pass initiative beyond April 19. "It is definitely important to center our workers in our recovery, reopening and renewal and make sure that our economic recovery is equitable,” she added.
Residents can get more information on the program at boston.gov/freeride to see if they qualify. Or they can text “free ride” to 866-396-0122.