Youth Pass Pilot Program

What is the Youth Pass pilot?

Youth Power March, 2014On July 1, 2015, the Youth Pass pilot program opens to 1,500 young people in Boston. For eight years, leaders of the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC) have fought for an affordable and unrestricted MBTA Yass. Last year, the MBTA agreed to implement a one-year pilot program of our Youth Pass.

The pilot program will run from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, with weekly ($7) and monthly ($26) passes available to 1,500 youth ages 12 to 21 in Boston, Chelsea, Medford and Somerville. Sign up to participate!

How does the pilot work?

There are still some spots available in the pilot program! Apply online today. Participants will be accepted based on a random lottery, and once accepted, will be able to access the Youth Pass through June 30, 2016. Find out if you are eligible to participate!

Once accepted, participants can purchase the monthly or weekly passes at the Youth Pass pilot hub in their city.

Youth Pass pilot hubs:

Boston: Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, Boston City Hall, Room 258
Chelsea: Chelsea Collaborative, 318 Broadway
Malden: Malden City Hall, 200 Pleasant Street
Somerville: Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue

Marching for a Youth Pass in 2014NOTE:

Twelve-year-olds must apply in person at their city's hub, due to regulations that restrict online data from being collected from youth ages 12 and under.

Residents ages 19 to 21 who are selected in the lottery will have to meet need-based criteria by demonstrating enrollment in high school, a GED or other education program, job training program, or state or federal benefit program (like Mass Health, WIC, or living in public housing). This helps to prevent overlap between the University Pass and Youth Pass constituencies.

For a full list of eligible programs or other information, email or call (617) 222-1513.


Youth Pass campaign history

In 2012, the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC) was formed in response to drastic proposals to hike fares and cut service. This coalition built on and broadened the reach of the Youth Way on the MBTA campaign which was created in 2007 to work for a Youth Pass.

Crowd outside as people are arrested at the Sit-in for Opportuni(T)YAC began organizing thousands of youth for creative actions, including a 24-hour vigil outside the State House as part of a successful campaign to reduce the fare hike. With partner groups, we also secured additional and substantial MBTA funding from the Legislature in 2013. These wins solidified our coalition as a powerful force in pushing for an equitable public transit system.

In 2014, YAC achieved a momentous victory with the implementation of a Youth Pass pilot program that will provide affordable monthly and weekly passes to 1,500 youth in Boston, Chelsea, Malden and Somerville. This comes after eight years of rallies, marches, petitions and our 2014 Sit-in for Opportuni(T) in the Secretary of Transportation's office where 21 supporters were arrested.

Following the sit-in, the MBTA agreed to create a Youth Pass working group that included six YAC members to develop a pilot program. The Youth Pass pilot will begin in July 2015 with $26 monthly passes and $7 weekly passes available to youth ages 12 to 21.

Youth Pass pilot in the news

  • "Transit cost relief for Boston-area youth," The Bay State Banner, July 8, 2015
  • "Youth Pass Pilot Program Launches @ Dudley Station," BNN, July 1, 2015
  • "Massachusetts launches MBTA 'youth pass' pilot for Boston area," Mass Live, July 1, 2015
  • "MassDOT begins Youth Pass program aimed at young people," Boston Globe, July 1, 2015
  • "MBTA Youth Pass launch called 'historic' by young activists," Boston Metro, July 1, 2015
  • "MBTA Youth Pass launches Wednesday," Boston Metro, July 1, 2015
  • "Why Boston's Cash-Strapped Transit System Is Piloting Lower Fares for Students," City Lab, March 10, 2015
  • "MBTA agrees to pilot reduced fare for youths," Bay State Banner, June 25, 2014
  • “Boston Youth Pass protesters angry over MBTA meeting shut out," Metro, June 18, 2014
  • "Under the Radar with Callie Crossley," Under the Radar with Callie Crossley on WGBH 89.7FM, June 15, 2014. Youth Pass segment from 8:57 to 15:21.
  • "Liberados activistas que exigen pasaje preferencial juvenil," Univision, June 12, 2014
  • "Students Arrested for Staging Protest at MassDOT Headquarters," Boston Magazine, July 10, 2014
  • "Arrested after protest for MBTA youth passes," Boston Globe, July 10, 2014
  • “Mass. state police arrest 21 youth protesters in Boston at MassDOT offices," BostInno, July 10, 2014
  • "Activists demand reduced MBTA fares for young riders," WGBH News, July 10, 2014
  • "Massachusetts State Police arrest 21 protesters for trespassing at MassDOT headquarters in Boston," Mass Live, July 10, 2014
  • "21 arrested in protests for MBTA youth pass," NECN, July 9, 2014
  • "Youth Pass activists occupy office of Mass. Transportation Secretary Davey," Dig Boston, July 9, 2014
  • "Youth staged sit-in at Richard Davey's office for MBTA Youth Pass," Fox Boston, July 9, 2014
  • "T fare protesters arrested in state building sit-in," Boston Herald, July 9, 2014
  • "21 arrested at transportation sit-in protest,", July 9, 2014
  • "She’s fighting for a T pass she can’t use," Commonwealth Magazine, July 9, 2014