Commuter Rail to Begin Operating Fare Gates at North Station on October 1st 

BOSTON – September 26, 2022 – As part of the MBTA’s fare transformation program, new electronic fare gates will begin operation on North Station’s concourse on Saturday October 1st 2022. At that point passengers will need a ticket to enter and exit the gated area at North Station. The Commuter Rail Fare gates program is launching at North Station, and ultimately fare gates will also be installed at South, and Back Bay stations.

“The fare gates that begin operation at North Station on October 1 and those to come at Back Bay and South Station will streamline Commuter Rail fare collection and deliver on our commitment to preventing fare avoidance on the Commuter Rail system,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Allowing the MBTA to create a more consistent fare-paying experience, the fare gates also provide us the opportunity to collect better ridership data for the Commuter Rail, which will inform operations and guide future investments in the system.”

“The fare gates are an important step forward for the Commuter Rail system,” stated Keolis CEO Abdellah Chajai “They will modernize the Commuter Rail network, deliver benefits for riders, and improve the customer experience in fare collection,”

The new gate system will: 

  • Improve fare collection
  • Replace platform-door ticket checks
  • Create a more consistent fare-paying experience across transit modes

Passengers should hold on to their tickets for the duration of their trip. The Commuter Rail has a zone-based fare system, with each zone requiring a different fare, therefore passengers will be expected to verify their tickets at the fare gates upon entry and exit. Conductors will also confirm on board that passengers have purchased fares for the correct zone.

Fare Gates accept all existing fare media for the Commuter Rail, they do not deduct stored value from a CharlieCard. For Commuter Rail monthly pass holders who receive a CharlieCard the gates will accept their pass if the printed zone is displayed. For more information about how the fare gates work, what fare media they accept, and a “how to” videos for passengers visit: MBTA.com/CRfaregates

Riders will notice the following fare collection changes:

  • Riders will be required to tap, scan, or swipe their tickets or passes both to enter and to exit the platform area at North Station
  • Riders who enter through the gates will still need to show tickets to conductors on board to verify ticket zone. Riders who do not enter through the gates will need to show tickets to conductors to verify.
  • In bound riders who arrive at North Station without tickets will be required to purchase them through the mTicket app or from a staff member stationed at the gates before exiting.
  • Fare Gates will be active during the regular service hours of the Commuter Rail, and only when there is staff on-site who is able to provide support

Prior to activation of the fare gates at North Station, riders will be given the opportunity to try the gates and experience the process for entering and exiting during the week.

The design and configuration of the fare gates at North Station was developed with riders’ needs in mind. The layout features 30 gates installed around the concourse area, including nine wider, accessible gates that allow sufficient room for wheelchairs, scooters, bicycles, luggage, and strollers. Further, this layout will accommodate an even greater number of Commuter Rail riders than was typical before the pandemic, improving movement through the station, and reducing crowding when a train’s departure track is announced.

Passengers can stay connected with Commuter Rail by calling customer service at 617-222-3200, following @MBTA_CR on Twitter or signing up for T-Alerts at www.mbta.com/alerts.

Keolis Commuter Services operates and maintains the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s commuter rail system, the sixth largest commuter rail operation in North America. KCS is a subsidiary of Keolis North America (KNA), both headquartered in Boston, and employs approximately 2,500 people throughout the region. KCS and KNA are part of Keolis Group, an innovative global leader in transit services with more than a century of passenger transportation experience and operations in 16 countries.

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