Campus, News

Students frustrated with prices of MBTA Semester Pass following Green Line suspensions

BU students raised concerns about the cost of MBTA Semester Passes for the spring semester after recent Green Line suspensions.

Students who ordered a card before Jan. 10 received an “11% discount off of the regular monthly ‘T’ pass price,” according to the Boston University Transportation Services website. The Semester LinkPass gives students an unlimited number of rides throughout the semester on the “subway and local bus.” 

MBTA Charlie Card. Boston University students express concern for MBTA Semester Pass prices in light of Green Line suspensions. SYDNEY ROTH/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

Rithika Roddam, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said the recent Green Line construction “reduces the efficiency and accessibility of the entire system” because the shuttles are free and cards are no longer needed.

“I’m kind of annoyed that I paid for this entire month of guaranteeing transport from right in front of my apartment all the way to campus,” Roddam said. “But for more than half of it, I’m having to use a free shuttle service which means that I’m paying for half of what I’m actually using.”

Roddam also said a more affordable card would “make life easier,” especially for students who cannot afford one.

“I think most students move off campus to save on rent,” Roddam said. “If this difference was offset by these public transport fees or semester cards, I don’t think it makes sense.”

Doğa Sevgi, a junior in CAS, said she questioned whether or not she should buy a MBTA Semester Pass after noticing many students get on the train without paying. 

“Most of the time you don’t necessarily have to tap to get on the T,” she said. “But the times where I have to get on, it’s nice to not worry about that aspect.”

Sevgi, who lives off campus, said BU should promote MBTA Semester Passes more.

“I remember when I was coming in from my freshman year I knew what it was because it was on my email, but I didn’t necessarily know how important it could have been,” Sevgi said. 

Sevgi said she eventually decided to purchase a MBTA Semester Pass and now “relies” on the Green Line to travel to classes, specifically during the winter.

“As someone who needs the T at least twice a day, like for more than five stops because I cannot really walk during the winter, I thought it would be way more beneficial if I got this semester pass,” Sevgi said.

BU spokesperson Colin Riley wrote that the university is improving MBTA transportation to make it more accessible to students by offering empty CharlieCards.

“We give out free CharlieCards (onto which value can be loaded) at our office and at some orientation events,” Riley wrote.

Riley wrote that “BU has no control over MBTA fares and MBTA pass costs” and BU provides the BU Shuttle for alternative campus transportation.

Nupur Divekar, a junior in CAS, said she got the semester pass during her sophomore year but “doesn’t think it’s worth it” and prefers the free BU Shuttle.

“If it was cheaper, then I would definitely consider getting it,” Divekar said. “I feel like as a student we should be given discounts because that is the primary way of getting around campus.”

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