MBTA’s Youth Pass Application Process Becomes a Smooth Ride 

Integrated Digital Form and Process Was Implemented Across 19 Cities in Less Than Three Months.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), commonly known as the “T,” is in many ways the lifeblood of the Greater Boston area. Its intricate network of subways, buses, commuter rails, and ferry lines connects the city of Boston and its neighboring suburbs. For many residents, the public transit system is by far the easiest way to get to school or work.

It is critical that the T remains affordable for all segments of the population. Thus, in summer 2021, the MBTA embarked on an initiative to increase access to reduced transportation fares beginning with its Youth Pass Program for low-income young adults. The agency moved to institute a new secure and accessible online application for the Youth Pass Program, including a new card fulfillment process, to get more Youth Pass CharlieCards into the hands of qualified citizens of Boston and surrounding cities that could be used to purchase half-price one-way fares or discounted monthly passes for unlimited rides on the T’s bus and subway systems.


  • Integrate with systems of 19 cities and fulfillment center
  • Create consistent experience across participating municipalities
  • Make it easy for citizens to apply for passes
  • Account for variety of eligibility requirements and program exceptions


  • “Smart” application asks eligibility questions up front and weeds out ineligible riders immediately
  • Finely customized error messages resolve specific issues at each section of the application
  • “Backwards compatibility”— modifications to any field, trigger automatic adjustments throughout the application
  • Applications are automatically routed to the correct municipality by zip code without needing to build 19 separate point-to-point integrations
  • Reports automatically generated for fulfilment center every two hours with addresses for new pass recipients


  • Processed 142 applications on the first day, 792 in the first week, and 4,076 in the first three months with only a 3% denial rate
  • Citizens receive cards in five days or less after submitting user-friendly application
  • Essential public transportation affordable for riders of all income levels

4.7 Million

Use Case

Ticketing, Pass Applications




City, Regional

SimpliGov provides you with a better experience of our website and services through the use of cookies pursuant to our Privacy Policy.