Commute Options for New Employees

Commute Options for New Employees

Welcome to Harvard!

Reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions are priorities at the University, and CommuterChoice is here to help you figure out the best options to get to and from Harvard.

Don’t forget to sign up for New Employee Orientation to learn about your benefits package and to meet with members of the CommuterChoice team. Please use the tools below to determine your best route to work. Longwood Campus commuting tools and information can be found on the Masco website. If you have any additional questions, you may email us at commuterchoice@harvard.edu or book a virtual appointment with CommuterChoice staff here.

  

  

  

For more frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.

What is the T?

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), also known as the T, is comprised of subway, bus, commuter rail, ferry and paratransit service to eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.

How do I know which transit line I should take?

The MBTA lists all the subway, bus, commuter rail, ferry and paratransit routes at https://www.mbta.com/schedules. You can “plan your trip” by entering your home and work addresses and it will provide trip suggestions. The Transit app uses your current location to display transit lines closest to you and wayfinding assistance. You can also utilize CommuterChoice’s commute assistance tool to receive personalized commuting advice.

Can I access the subsidized transit pass benefit on my first day of work?

No, it typically takes new employees 1-2 days to gain access to the Edenred portal. The deadline to order passes is the 4th of the prior month. New employees should allow 6-8 weeks from the start of their employment to receive their first transit product. You can find more information about how to order your pass here. You can not purchase a transit product while you have an annual parking permit.

New employees are not eligible to be reimbursed for their out of pocket commuting expenses while they are waiting for their subsidized pass to arrive. They should allow 6-8 weeks from the start of their employment to receive their first transit benefit product.

Where do I purchase tickets for the T?

As a new benefits-eligible employee, you will not have immediate access to the subsidized transit ordering site. It typically takes new employees 1-2 days to gain access to the transit ordering portal.

While waiting for your subsidized pass, you will have to purchase transit passes on your own. Information on passes are available at https://www.mbta.com/fares. If you are commuting back and forth to work at least four times a week, a monthly pass is the most cost-effective option. You can purchase a mobile ticket for the Commuter Rail on the mTicket app, however, it will not include bus and subway access as compared to a physical Monthly Commuter Rail Pass CharlieTicket. You can purchase monthly Commuter rail passes at Porter Square, Back Bay, North Station and South Station. You can purchase a CharlieCard at the any MBTA kiosk, located in all subway stations and select bus stations.

Where should I get off the bus or subway?

The red line subway runs through Harvard Square, as well as bus routes 1, 66, 69, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 86, 96.

Bus routes 66, 70, and 86 run through Allston. The walk from Harvard Square to Allston is about 15-20 minutes, depending on pace.

How do I update my home address in Edenred?

You will need to log into your PeopleSoft account and update your address there. It will take 1-2 days to be reflected in Edenred.

Why am I getting a browser error message or blank screen when I try to access the Edenred site?

It typically takes new employees 1-2 days to access the Edenred system. Try to log in at http://www.commuterchoice.harvard.edu/mbta 1-2 business days after you have set up your Harvard Key and HUID. If that doesn’t work, please allow a few extra days. If you are still having issues, please contact CommuterChoice and they can help you.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive the transit subsidy?

Benefits eligible faculty, staff and postdocs paid directly by Harvard and work at least 17.5 hours a week may purchase MBTA monthly passes for a 50% discount.

Is there bicycle parking available on campus?

You can access an interactive online map for bike parking locations and recommended routes at http://www.transportation.harvard.edu/commuterchoice/bike/bicycle-parking-campus. We recommend those who park their personal bike on campus have it registered for free with Harvard University Police Department.

Can I commute to campus using Bluebikes?

Harvard employees have access to a discounted Bluebikes membership with their Harvard email address and code: HARVARD. Download the Bluebikes app or visit https://member.bluebikes.com/map/ to find a station closest to your work location.

Can I take advantage of the bike benefit program?

The bike benefit is a reimbursement program of up to $360/year for eligible bike-related expenses. Employees must not have a subsidized transit pass or parking permit during the months they are claiming the bike benefit. The submission period is during the late fall-early winter. More information can be found at http://www.transportation.harvard.edu/bikebenefit

Can I park on campus on my first day of work?

Cambridge or Allston campus employees can purchase a one day permit ahead of your first day of work by accessing the self-service Online Daily Permit portal or visit the Parking Office located at the Smith Campus Center in the Campus Service Center on the 8th floor. The online system is highly recommended for its convenience and 24-hour availability. If you wish to purchase an annual pass, you can stop into the Campus Service Center on your first day of work.

If you work in the Longwood Medical Area, you can visit the Commuter Service and Parking Office at 180B Longwood Ave, Room 132, Boston, MA 02115 or call them at 617.432.1111.

What parking facility is closest to where I work?

You can find information about all of the Harvard garages and lots available on the Cambridge and Allston campuses at http://transportation.harvard.edu/parking/garages-lots/garages-lots.

Are there any parking discounts available to employees?

As part of the Underutilized Parking Program, annual parking permits purchased for Peabody Terrace garage is discounted by 30%. Benefits-eligible employees are able to pay for their annual parking permits via pre-tax payroll deduction. They can also receive 50-75% of their annual parking pass if they carpool with a benefits-eligible Harvard employee.

Is there anywhere on campus where I can charge my electric vehicle?

There are 11 parking facilities around Cambridge and Allston that support electric car charging stations. Anyone wishing to use one of the stations must first purchase an ECS permit.

What is the Harvard Shuttle?

The Harvard Shuttle is an intercampus shuttle connecting the Cambridge and Allston Campuses. It is a free service for all Harvard affiliates.

Where can I find the shuttle schedules and routes?

You can find real time shuttle information at www.shuttle.harvard.edu or you can download the TransLoc Rider app

Is there a shuttle to the Longwood Medical Area?

Harvard affiliates have access to the M2 shuttle, which stops in Harvard Square at the Lamont Library. You must show your Harvard ID card to ride the M2 shuttle.

New Employee Video

New Employee Video for CommuterChoice