Transportation for Researchers

FREE: the M2 Shuttle service

The MASCO M2 Shuttle provides free service for Harvard students from the Cambridge campus to the Longwood Medical Area and MIT. Click here for more information and the schedule.


MBTA T-Pass & CharlieCard Program




Feel free to read the other parameters of the program below.

Generally, the program is open during Spring and Fall semesters, and during Wintersession. The program is CLOSED during the Winter and Summer Breaks.


The Office of Undergraduate Science Education encourages Harvard undergraduates to pursue science research opportunities at laboratories that best suit their interests, regardless of location or concentration. Realizing that the cost of an MBTA pass can quickly add up, we have created a fund to help defray transportation expenses for students who are conducting research in the life and physical sciences in Harvard-affiliated, off-campus laboratories that are not serviced by the M2 shuttle (or who need to to work in the Longwood Medical Area during off-hours, when the M2 isn't running, e.g. late nights—see above for a link to the M2 schedule).ª


Eligible laboratories include those accessible by MBTA subway or bus, and not serviced by the M2 Shuttle, or those in the Longwood Medical Area which need to be reached during off hours when the M2 isn't running. Examples include Massachusetts General Hospital, MEEI, the Charlestown Navy Yard, McLean Hospital, the Broad and Ragon Institutes, and the Arnold Arboretum, among others.


Ineligible laboratories include any lab on the Longwood Medical Area campus or otherwise serviced by the M2 Shuttle. Such institutions include Brigham & Women's, Joslin Center, DFCI, Children's Hospital, and others. For more examples, consult the M2 Shuttle schedule.


• If you often need to reach one of these labs when the M2 isn't running and you would like to be eligible for the T-Pass program, then you will need your PI, daily research supervisor, or lab administrator to submit a brief confirmation email to or


This program supports subway and bus transportation on the MBTA; other transportation options (e.g. MBTA commuter rail, Lyft/Uber, etc.) are outside the scope of this program.


Am I eligible for the T Pass program?

Any student conducting Fall (September 1 to December 15) or Spring term (February 1 to April 30) research in the Life and Physical Sciences at an off-campus, MBTA Subway- or Bus-route-accessible laboratory is eligible, regardless of year in school or concentration.


• If you are currently enrolled in a departmental research course (e.g. MCB 91r, SCRB 99, Neurobiology 91r, etc) and your laboratory is located off campus and not at the HMS quad or Longwood Medical area, and is on an MBTA Subway or Bus route, you are automatically eligible; however, you need to complete the Qualtrics Transportation for Researchers application each time you'd want to receive a CharlieCard or be reimbursed for Monthly Passes.


• If you are not currently enrolled in a departmental research course, but conduct regularly scheduled onsite research and your laboratory is located on an MBTA Subway or Bus route and not at the HMS quad, you are eligible as well; fill out the the Qualtrics Transportation for Researchers application.


• If you are opting for a monthly pass (see below), in order for your expenses to be reimbursed/supported for that month, you must submit the T Pass Application during the month for which you are to be reimbursed—you may not submit multiple months' reimbursement paperwork or receipts.


Can I receive a T pass for summer research or Winter Break?

The T pass program is funded for research only during the Spring and Fall semesters, and Wintersession. We cannot accomodate requests for funding for summer research, or over winter break.


How do I obtain a pass or get reimbursed for my T pass?


First, determine how often you go to the lab:


• If you visit your lab four times or more per week throughout the semester, you should buy a monthly T Pass at any MBTA station for $90.00.


1) Fill out the online Application for the T-Pass Program

2) When you buy the monthly T-Pass, keep the receipt!

3) Fill out and sign the PDF reimbursement form linked here, and email it, along with a pdf, scan, or photo of the original receipt, to James Poolner,

NOTE: To be accepted, the Application and Reimbursement Forms must be submitted during the same month during which you are using that pass (or earlier if bought before the first of the month). Batched receipts from multiple past months will not be accepted!


• If you visit your lab three or fewer times per week, fill out the online Application for the T-Pass Program, and then visit Irina Cashen in Fairchild 095 to pick up a prepaid CharlieCard, which will allow you to ride the subway for approximately twenty (20) one-way trips (or thirty (30) one-way bus trips), and should last you three or more weeks. When you have emptied the credit on your CharlieCard (3+ weeks later), repeat this process.


Questions about the Program?

Contact James Poolner ( for procedural details, questions and suggestions.


ª On a related note, we want to make students who work in Longwood aware of Sebastian's (The HUDS cafe at the School of Public Health) - as a dining option where students can use BoardPlus.