The Chelsea Jordan Boys & Girls Club on Byron has been an oasis for working parents that need after school care for their children. Knowing their children are in a safe place for the afternoon when school lets out and involved in enriching activities has made the Boys & Girls Club a go to place for hundreds of families.
However, getting there by public transportation has been tricky for some club kids who rely on MBTA buses or trains to get to and from the Boys & Girls Club program. For others the cost of public transportation can sometimes be a barrier for kids who want to participate at the Boys & Girls Club on a more frequent basis.
However, a new program by the MBTA may increase participation at the Boys & Girls Club, as well as Boys & Girls Club program’s across Greater Boston.
Last week the MBTA announced that the Chelsea Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston have joined the ongoing program to increase the availability of CharlieCards to Chelsea kids who rely on public transportation.
Under the program, free no-balance CharlieCards are now available at the Chelsea Boys & Girls Club, as well as all Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston during their open hours.
“Expanding this program ensures that more customers have access to lower fares through the use of our re-loadable CharlieCard,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to extend my appreciation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for partnering with the T in expanding this access that ultimately allows the MBTA to be even more accessible for our customers.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston join a growing list of organizations, cities, and towns partnering with the MBTA to increase access to CharlieCards.
“Thanks to the MBTA’s initiative to increase accessibility to CharlieCards, our children and teens will have the opportunity to travel outside their neighborhoods to discover opportunities in Boston and beyond related to education, the arts, jobs, and more,” said Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is grateful for the chance to partner with the MBTA.”
Bailey Snyder of the Chelsea Boys & Girls Club said, “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston served more than 14,000 youth in 2019 alone, and is thankful for community partners such as the MBTA that help members reach their full potential.”
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 program, 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 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 [email protected].