Unlimited rides on commuter rail for $15 on Patriots Day

Here's your chance to take that trip to Fitchburg you've been dying to do: On Patriots Day, you'll be able to ride anywhere commuter rail goes for $15 for the whole day. The "Marathon Pass" is available starting today on the mTicket app and starting Wednesday at ticket offices at North South and Back Bay stations. Don't worry about missing out - the pass will also be available on the trains themselves on April 15.

The T will also be selling $5 CharlieCards to people who want to take the subway to and from the Marathon or the other stuff going on that day, such as the recreation of Paul Revere's ride. Regular T riders will, of course, stifle a snort, since a round trip on the subway normally would cost $4.50 with a CharlieCard - although the pass is a 50-cent saving over what a round-trip CharlieTicket would cost.

The $5 cards will be for sale on Monday at Alewife, Back Bay, Braintree, Fenway, Quincy Adams and Riverside.


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This all makes sense

By on

On Commuter Rail, I would imagine that conductors have trouble collecting all of the fares from infrequent riders who require them to punch tickets (we could go in to how this is an antiquated method for collecting tickets). And it gets Charlie Cards in to circulation, and makes them easy to purchase. This sort of pricing scheme probably makes sense for any major event, like a Patriots Day road race or a Patriots Super Bowl victory parade, rather than trying (and failing) to collect fares. Puts cash in the hands of the T, and makes everything work better.

I get it.

By on

But as someone who doesn't take public transportation as a one-off, it rubs me the wrong way.

On one of the busiest days, they reduce the price. All of us who take it normally having a price hike coming.

It doesn't sit well with me.



If you really do ride most days a monthly pass is still a lot cheaper.

The idea of lowering the price to encourage usage by people otherwise driving on rare occasions in is fine with me. Same with the weekend passes.

If you think infrequent

By on

If you think infrequent Commuter Rail riders are getting an unfair good deal, you need to take another look at the schedule and fares.

Even at $15, it's still an expensive way for people to get into the city, especially when travelling in groups. And those 90+ minute gaps (more on weekends) are a killer.

If they can get some new riders to try the train by offering a discount, I say that's great. Maybe some of them will take the train again. If enough people do that, maybe they can add service. And we're on our way to shifting the balance towards trains.

Two things

By on

1. They have spare capacity. If they did this on a day with normal commuting and an event, it would be a mess (see Patriots Parade, etc), since the trains are at capacity (on those days, they should sell these tickets, but only for trains after 9 a.m., also, they should figure out how to run more trains). But on Marathon Monday, they don't have anywhere near the regular commuting load at peak hour, so they can spare some room.

2. This makes it much easier to collect fares. Instead of dealing with a bunch of people who don't know what the fare is, or can't figure out how the app works, or what have you, they can just sell basically the same fare product to everyone. If the trains are crowded with newcomers, it makes it much more likely they'll get through the aisles and sell all the tickets, rather than fumbling for quarters and only getting to half the people on the train (and then having to do the same song and dance on the way outbound). I would bet this is revenue positive, or they wouldn't do it. (See just downthread where someone whines that they don't check tickets: the point of this is to solve just that.)

3. If you have a pass, you're already saving money. If you don't have a pass and take the train from Zone 2 or further, just buy a daily pass on Monday and be happy about it.

spare capacity?

By on

really, ever ride the green line on Monday or even the orange is busier than normal.
Pandering and grandstanding and PR stunts are not what they need to be doing.
Fix the underlying problems and then maybe you can do these stunts.

Spare capacity

By on

Which is why the T is selling subway passes for $0.50 more than a round trip would cost.

Broken Read More Link

By on

The Read More link on this story is dead?

The requested page "/2019/unlimited-rides-commuter-rail-12-patriots-day" could not be found.



By on

They dont check ticket on busy trains!


Parking is free in Boston

By on

Parking is free in Boston that day. Great way to encourage drinking and driving while costing the city thousands of dollars.

It's a holiday, kid

By on

They also don't enforce the meters on Columbus Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No Sundays. No holidays.

I've never heard of Patriots Day being a big drinking day. I'm guessing that you do think it's a big drinking day. That might say something about you.


Must not be paying attention, I guess

By on

"Marathon Monday" is a huge drinking holiday for all the college students in the area, since its a day where you get a weekday off just when the weather is (usually) getting nice outside. Hell, for most people who get the day off or can take it off, it's a pretty big day to hang out along the race course and have a beer or three. Here's a whole article about it from Eater.

(that said, I agree that most people doing this probably aren't driving in for it)



By on

As someone who likes my car, and basically disagrees with most of what Kinopio says... I'm just here to say that Patriot's Day is a HUGE drinking day.

Daytime RedSox game, Marathon, street closures, all colleges have the day off. I'd be surprised if this wasn't the second biggest outdoor drinking day in the city every year (St. Patty's being first).


Can't just attack Kinopio about the car/parking stuff

Gotta throw in the coy personal attack about drinking because they said something mean about cars!

Like its not even a well informed point, as others have pointed out, its a huge drinking day up and down the Marathon route and elsewhere.

What rock have you been living under?

Edit: Also remember, he made a generalized comment about drunk driving, something motorists in fact do from time to time and you kinda-sorta-but-not-quite implied that they might have a drinking problem, something you don't know for a fact. Just wanted to get that outta the way because you have a habit of deflecting and moving the goal posts when called out.

I'll pick on you

By on

But to the 4 of you who replied to me, my bad on the drinking thing.

My thing with that is that I've heard so many holidays being the "big drinking" holiday, so I blot that out. Still, it's never registered on my radar that people associate the Boston Marathon with getting drunk, and I lived in a dorm in Kenmore Square for 2 Patriots Days, albeit 30 years ago. New Years Eve, I see. Same thing with Independence Day. Back in the day I would see Evacuation Day (which of course is celebrated in South Boston on a Sunday, too.) Memorial Day, sure, along with Labor Day. Patriots Day? Even when corrected and accepting the correction, it just seems odd.

Still, his issue was with the free parking, which is the case for the other holidays. Just as he likes to twist things into an anti-driving rant, I decided to twist back.

Cool cool cool cool cool no doubt no doubt

Yeah I've always understood and seen it to be a marathon for day drinking since my college days in the early-2000s till today.

I'm actually fine with pushing back on the rant, no problem there. I just think the subtle jab about Kinopio and drinking problems was out of bounds, thats all.


No -- a nasty, direct (potentially libellous) personal attack. No matter how annoying a poster may be -- your sort of response was inexcusable. I'm shocked you didn't apologize.

What can I say?

By on

Go back to the beginning of the thread, which was a response to a story about the T offering passes for Patriots Day, where he decides that the most important thing is that people driving to the Marathon equals rampant drunk driving, and tell me if I was truly hitting below the belt. I think the main criticism of my comment would be that I stooped to his usual level.

I apologized for what I said that was wrong factually. My inference is based on the jump from the T doing something good to the drivel that drivers are bad. I ain't gonna take it back.

$5 Charlie Cards

The subway ride will still cost $4.50 round trip. People who buy them will just have 50 cents left over on them when adding the next refill.

why bother to collect fares at all?

By on

So a discount on Marathon Monday, discount on the weekends,, practically no fare collection on the super bowl parade day or any busy day? Why I am paying at all and why am I paying more later this year. A joke as usual. At least the horde on Monday wont mess up the much delayed new orange line trains

Another data point from Minneapolis

By PerryD on

I recently spent about a week in Minneapolis and used the 'train' quite a bit, as well as the bus system. Train singular, since they really only have one line.

One-way tickets are about $2.50, however not once did anyone ask to see my ticket, even on nearly empty cars. When I asked about this at my hotel I was told that if you don't have a ticket the train police will wrestle you to the ground. Basically I bought a sinlge ticket on my phone, rode multiple times, and left with a single ticket on my phone. My guess is that the locals do this, too. You also could buy no ticket and just purchase one instantly on your phone if you saw a conductor heading your way, I suppose.

The bus is different; you have to show your ticket when you board, and opening it to show on the phone activates that ticket for two hours, so you can use it for a return trip or multiple trasnfers.

oh man its almost like they

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oh man its almost like they're trying to incentivize non-peak ridership because the huge bulk of riders on the commuter rail are 9-5 business people. we both know how much of a shitshow the mbta leadership is and i think this is a great step in showing the rest of the mbta leadership that investing in commuter rail is a good idea