Getting Around Cambridge

Our urban campus is easily reached by public transportation.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, or the “T”) is the public transit system (subways, buses, trains, and boats) in the state. The closest stations to campus are Porter Square and Harvard Square, both on the Red Line. There are also a number of bus routes that are convenient to campus.

Order a Discounted Semester MBTA Pass

As a Lesley University commuter or resident student, you can order discounted semester MBTA passes through our Commuter Student Services Office. With this pass, the MBTA provides an 11 percent discount off the monthly fare and unlimited rides for four months. Choose from bus, link (bus/subway), express bus, commuter rail, and boat passes.

Order Now for Spring 2020:

It’s time to order your spring 2020 MBTA pass. Orders are due by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Everything you need to know to complete your order is right here. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Elliott, the Director of Commuter Services, at 617.349.8592 or commuterservices@lesley.edu.

Discounts:

Lesley University will offer an additional 14 percent discount to the first 250 commuter students who submit their completed order form, bringing the total discount to 25 percent. That way, our commuter students will have an even easier time getting to campus and participating in life at Lesley. The Director of Commuter Student Services will let students know when they submit their order if they qualify for the discount, and will let the general Lesley population know when the 250th order has been received.

Dates of Use:

For spring 2020, passes are valid from February 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

  • Is It Worth It? Assessing Your Usage

    Prior to ordering a semester T-pass, consider the frequency and type of public transportation that you may need. Purchasing a T-pass on a semester basis can be a great way to save money, but first, determine if your usage will be equal to or greater than the semester fee. You can find the fare amounts and payment break-downs on the back of the order forms.

    Cost-Benefit Examples:

    The most popular pass for Lesley students is the LinkPass which provides unlimited rides on the bus and subway.  

    • Resident Students: The LinkPass is $320 for the semester, which you pay in full up front. You would need to ride the subway at least 34 times per month (using a CharlieCard at $2.40/ride) to get the full value of your semester pass. 
       
    • Commuter Students: The LinkPass is $269.60 for the semester, which you pay in full up front. You would need to ride the subway at least 28 times per month (using a CharlieCard at $2.40/ride) to get the full value of your semester pass. If you come to campus 3 or 4 times a week, this is a great option.


    For students who do not come to campus often enough to warrant a pass, we suggest you obtain a hard plastic CharlieCard that you can add money to whenever you need. Plastic CharlieCards offer a small discount over paper Charlie Tickets.

    Prices are subject to change each year. Look for information about fare prices on the MBTA website or call them at 617.222.3200.

  • Order Forms

    Get Your Order Form

    To participate in the semester T-pass program, you'll need to submit an order form and payment. In addition to downloading the forms here, you can pick up forms at 11 Mellen Street, 1st floor, Cambridge, MA, Monday–Friday from 9:30 am–4:30 pm (excluding holidays).


    Submit Your Order Form

    Payment is due in full at the time of your order.

    • By Email: Send to commuterservices@lesley.edu with the subject "MBTA Semester Pass Order."
    • By Fax: 617.349.8558 (Call 617.349.8592 to confirm it was received.)
    • By Phone: Call us at 617.349.8592. If you are sent to voicemail, please leave a message but do not leave your credit card information in a voicemail.
    • By Mail: Send to Commuter Student Services, Attn: MBTA Semester Pass, Lesley University, 29 Everett Street, Cambridge MA 02138. (If you are mailing your form, please give enough time for it to arrive. Do not mail cash.)
    • In-Person: Drop off at 11 Mellen Street, 1st Floor, Cambridge, MA, Monday–Friday from 9:30 am–4:30 pm (excluding holidays).
  • Deadlines for Ordering

    For the fall semester you will need to place your order by the beginning of August, and for the spring semester, by the end of December. These dates are set by the MBTA and they do not accept late orders.

    Spring 2020 Deadlines

    Orders are due by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

    If you miss the deadline, you can still get a monthly pass from the MBTA website, but it will be your responsibility to re-order each month and you will not get a discount. You can set up a MyCharlie account on the MBTA website to help protect your pass against loss, theft, or damage.

  • Payments and Refunds

    Payments

    You must pay in full at the time you submit your order. You can pay by cash, domestic debit/credit cards, or money order (made payable to Lesley University). We do not accept personal checks. Please do not mail cash.

    If you are paying with someone else’s credit card, you must submit this letter from the credit/debit card holder (docx). This letter must include the credit card holder's (1) authorization of the payment; (2) mailing address used for the credit card, email address, and phone number; and (3) brief description of their relationship to you (for example, your parent). Send the letter to commuterservices@lesley.edu with your MBTA order form.

    Cancellations and Refunds

    The MBTA does not provide any cancellations or refunds. Once you submit your order, you will be unable to change your MBTA pass to a different type.

    You cannot add value to your semester pass. The MBTA will not refund any fare or passes that you attempt to add to a semester/monthly CharlieCard. Monthly passes will deactivate at the end of each month, and your semester pass will deactivate at the end of their respective semester.  Discard any deactivated passes.    

  • How the First 250 Orders are Determined

    The first 250 commuter students who submit a completed MBTA pass order form each semester will be granted a 25% discount off the face value of their semester pass.

    The order in which MBTA orders are processed:

    Whenever an MBTA order form comes in, the time and date it was received is written on the top of the form so that we can process orders in chronological order. If an order is later found to be incomplete (ex. the credit card authorization is missing, or there is not enough money in the account to process the sale) we will remove it from the processing queue Once the errors are corrected, the order will reenter the queue as if it was received at the time of correction. Once we process 250 commuter orders at the 25% off discount, all remaining orders will be processed at the 11% off discount.

    Components of a complete order form: 

    A completed order form is one that is completely filled out, comes with payment attached, or has payment ready to process that day. A form that uses a parent’s credit card but does not have a credit card authorization form is considered incomplete. A form that has incorrect credit card information or includes an account with insufficient funds would also be considered incomplete.

    Processing of mail orders:

    Mail orders will enter the queue at the time they we receive them in office. We encourage you to email or drop off your order as mail delays can occur during the holiday season. Lesley is not responsible for lost orders in the mail.

    Processing of phone orders:

    Phone orders will enter the queue once someone from Commuter Students Services is able to call you back. Once we do, we can fill out a completed order form on your behalf. Please leave a voicemail if we are not able to answer your call. Please do not leave credit card information in a voicemail.

    How to ensure your order is processed in the first 250 orders:

    1. Submit your order early.
    2. Write or type your information clearly. If we are unable to read your information this may cause a delay in processing.
    3. Ensure that all your provided information is correct and complete. If it is not, your order could move to the back of the queue, as we will need to call you to correct your information.
    4. If you’re using someone else’s credit card (parent, spouse, etc…) make sure that you also submit a credit card authorization form (this can be found at lesley.edu/passes)
    5. Make sure that the credit/debit card you're submitting has enough funds to cover the cost of the pass you’re ordering. If you’re too close to your limit or low on funds, your card could be rejected and your order will move to the back of the queue.
    6. Pay by cash or money order. While we don’t give priority to students who pay via cash or money order, these orders, with the correct amount, is considered a complete order. Money orders can be obtained at banks, Post Offices and many retailers such as grocery stores (including the Star Market in Porter Square) and Wal-Mart.
  • Picking Up Your Pass

    We do not mail T-passes. Bring your Lesley ID when picking up your pass. For Spring 2020 passes, you'll receive an email from commuterservices@lesley.edu at the end of January with specific times and locations for picking up your pass.

    If you would like a family member or friend to pick up your pass, please email commuterservices@lesley.edu with their name and phone number. The friend or family member can also bring in a signed authorization letter from you that includes your cell phone number, email address, and a photocopy of your Lesley ID.

    What to Expect

    Bus, Link, Inner Express, or Outer Express Passes: Your Semester T-Pass will be issued on a hard plastic CharlieCard and will be valid for the semester.

    Commuter Rail or Boat Passes: Your pass will be issued monthly, and you'll need to pick up a new pass each month at 11 Mellen Street, 1st Floor, Cambridge, MA.

  • Lost, Damaged or Stolen Passes

    Bus, Link, Inner Express, or Outer Express passes can be replaced if lost, damaged or stolen; however, it takes about a week to get a new card. Please contact commuterservices@lesley.edu as soon as possible so that we can have the MBTA cancel your old card and issue you a replacement card. A new card will be shipped to us, and we will inform you by email and phone as soon as it arrives.

    Students will be responsible for paying their MBTA fares until their new pass arrives. Lesley University is only the conduit through through which the MBTA pass process flows. Lesley will not cover the cost of transportation, or any other expenses, related to the MBTA passes that are issued to students

    Zone Passes are NOT replaceable. Please treat your MBTA pass like cash and keep it in a safe place. If a Zone pass becomes damaged, please bring your pass to the Charlie Card store at Downtown Crossing -- they may be able to issue a replacement pass. 

  • LinkPass Vs. Zone 1A

    The LinkPass includes bus and subway transportation.

    Zone 1A also includes bus and subway transportation, as well as the closest commuter train stops to North Station or to South Station (Porter Square, Chelsea, Forest Hills, JFK/UMass, Malden Center, Morton Street, Ruggles, Upham's Corner, West Medford, and Yawkey) as well as the Inner Harbor Ferries. 

    The LinkPass and Zone 1A are currently the same cost; however, students who order a LinkPass receive one plastic pass. This pass is valid for the entire semester, is automatically reloaded each month, and is replaceable if lost or stolen.

    Students who choose the Zone 1A pass will need to pick up a pass each month at 11 Mellen Street, 1st Floor, Cambridge, MA. This pass is not replaceable if lost or stolen and it is typically a paper (not plastic) pass. 

Alternatives to the Semester T-Pass Program

CharlieCard

A good alternative for traveling by bus or subway is to get a hard, plastic CharlieCard and add a cash value to the card. Values can be added to the card at any MBTA station vending machine or added electronically through the MBTA’s MyCharlieCardAccount, which will also protect the card if it is lost or stolen.

Monthly Passes

Before purchasing a monthly pass, you should consider the frequency and type of public transportation you may need. A monthly pass can be an excellent value, but only if your use of it will be equal to or greater than the monthly fee. Unlike the CharlieCard that can be used any time, monthly passes are valid for one month only.