December 9, 2021

Commuter updates

  • Parking and Covid Pass: Note that MIT parking account holders can access parking on campus before completing Covid Pass requirements. If you need to get tested and complete your attestation, you can park first and then proceed to a testing location.
  • Benefits-eligible Cambridge employees: Increased commuter program subsidies introduced this fall will now be extended through March 2022; details below. Note that the pricing in the Atlas system does not display all of these temporary discounts, but the payroll deduction will accurately reflect the discounts
  • The winter subsidies include the introduction of a 60% subsidy for the new MBTA Commuter Rail 5-Day Flex Pass.
  • If you plan to travel to MIT via commuter rail, bus, or boat, remember to purchase your subsidized monthly pass at least one month and one day in advance. You can obtain a monthly pass through the Atlas system. Learn more about public transit passes.
  • Note that all benefits-eligible Cambridge Campus employees continue to have free, unrestricted use of MBTA subway and local bus services via the Access MIT pass embedded in your MIT ID card. No renewal of that pass is required.
  • You will find all of this information on the Commuter Connections website.

Explore your commuting options; increased subsidies extended through March 2022

To support Cambridge campus employees working a mix of hybrid and on-campus schedules, MIT is extending increased subsidies for many of the commuter programs through the winter. In addition to the fully funded MBTA subway and local bus pass (Access MIT pass), subsidies that were temporarily increased starting this past September will now be offered through March 2022 for commuter rail passes, MBTA parking, private transit costs, and carpools. In addition, MIT is introducing a new subsidy for the MBTA’s Commuter Rail 5-Day Flex Pass. For employees commuting to campus less frequently, the Flex Pass may be a more cost-efficient option than a monthly MBTA pass.

The January-March 2022 subsidies available to benefits-eligible Cambridge-based MIT employees will be as follows:

  • Commuter Rail Monthly MBTA pass: Subsidy increased from 60% to 75%
  • MBTA Commuter Rail 5-Day Flex Pass: 60% subsidy; monthly cap $255
  • Access MIT pass (subway/local bus): Employees continue to have free, unrestricted access to subway and local bus systems using the chip embedded in their MIT ID cards
  • MBTA parking: Subsidy increased from 50% to 100%; monthly cap $100
  • Private transit (Amtrak, Greyhound, Peter Pan, etc.): Subsidy increased from 50% to 60%; monthly cap $255 (note this is a change from the 100% subsidy for September–December 2021)
  • Carpools: For vehicles with at least three MIT employees, subsidy increased from 50% to 100%

Introducing 60% subsidy for the new MBTA Commuter Rail 5-Day Flex Pass

For benefits-eligible Cambridge-based employees, MIT will subsidize 60% of the cost of an MBTA Commuter Rail 5-Day Flex Pass from January through March 2022. The 5-Day Flex Pass was introduced by the MBTA during the pandemic to accommodate evolving work schedules and riders who work primarily from home. The Flex Pass is a bundled fare that enables five days of commuter rail travel at any time within a 30-day period. The MBTA is offering this program through March 15, 2022.

  • Each of the five 24-hour passes can be used on any day within 30 days of purchase, giving riders the flexibility to choose which days they will travel; unused passes expire at the end of the 30-day period. Additional 5-Day Flex Passes can be purchased as often as needed.
  • The cost of the 5-Day Flex Pass from the MBTA is a 10% discount compared to five round-trip commuter rail tickets.
  • MIT will subsidize (through reimbursement) 60% of the 5-Day Flex Pass cost, beginning in January 2022. Note that the Flex Pass, unlike an MIT-subsidized monthly pass, is valid for commuter rail only.
  • Participants who have an MIT-subsidized monthly pass will need to cancel the monthly pass before purchasing a Flex Pass in order to be eligible for Flex Pass reimbursement.
  • Individuals who purchase the Flex Pass can use the subsidized Access MIT Pass embedded in their MIT ID for bus and/or subway travel. This will require a new MIT ID card for participants who canceled their monthly pass (the embedded Access MIT chip is disabled in the IDs of monthly pass holders).
  • View full details about the 5-Day Flex Pass subsidy, reimbursement caps, and reimbursement process. Individuals interested in participating are encouraged to compare the Flex Pass with other options to see which plan is most cost-effective based on their anticipated commuting needs.

View complete details about all of our programs at the Commuter Connections site.

Do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions. Our team can be reached at mitparking@mit.edu.

Sincerely,

Tom Giannino
Operations Manager, MIT Parking & Transportation Office