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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 many bus routes that are convenient to campus.

For students who do not need to order an MBTA Semester Pass, you can find information about the CharlieCard, as well as the online MyCharlieAccount option to add value electronically and protect the card in case it is lost or stolen, here on the MBTA website.

Order a Discounted MBTA Semester Pass

As a Lesley University commuter or resident student, you can order a discounted MBTA Semester Pass through our Office of Student Services. With the Semester 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 Fall 2024:

MBTA Semester Passes for Fall 2024 are available to order starting May 1 through August 1, 2024.

Visit CVENT to purchase your MBTA Semester Pass for Fall 2024.

Orders are due by 12:00 pm Eastern Time on Monday, January 8, 2024. You must pay for your MBTA Semester Pass with a debit or credit card. If you have any questions, please contact Felecia Bumpus, the Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Student Activities, at 617.349.8565 or fbumpus@lesley.edu

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.

  • Cancellations and Refunds

    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.    

  • Picking Up Your Pass

    We do not mail T-passes. Bring your Lesley ID when picking up your pass. For Fall 2023 Semester Passes, you'll receive an email from fbumpus@lesley.edu by the beginning of the semester 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 fbumpus@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 McKenna Student Center, Information Desk, on the Doble Campus, 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 fbumpus@lesley.edu immediately 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 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 Semester 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 Semester 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 McKenna Student Center Information Desk on the Doble Campus.

    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


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.