Transportation

By connecting programs, education, modes of transportation, and personal decision-making, MIT strives to create a new awareness and shared understanding of transportation choices and their impacts. To that end, MIT launched the Access MIT program in the fall of 2016 with the goal of reducing parking demand on campus through new commuting incentives and a shift from annual to daily parking fees for em­ployees. This shift in parking policy has removed the financial commit­ment of the traditional year-long parking pass, instead allowing commuters to travel to campus via bike, subway, bus, or another method on days that they can, with­out being charged for parking.
Employees at MIT have a no-cost transit pass embedded in their ID cards, enabling them greater flexibility to choose how they get to work every day. MBTA pay-per-use billing has allowed MIT to offer this benefit to its full-time employees. These efforts are designed to help mitigate traffic congestion in and around MIT and advance a culture of low carbon commuting.
Access MIT Program benefits include:

  • Free, unrestricted use of the MBTA subway and local bus systems for benefits-eligible Cambridge campus MIT faculty and staff;
  • A 60% commuter rail subsidy;
  • A 50% subsidy for parking at MBTA sta­tions, up to $100 per month;
  • A shift from annual to daily pay-per-day parking.

MIT is committed to providing amenities to support and encourage students, faculty, and staff to commute to campus by bicycle. The Institute maintains over 5,000 bike parking spaces across campus. All bike racks are situated in secure, accessible, well-lit spaces close to building entrances and placed indoors or in covered areas where possible. MIT plans to continue to provide additional bike parking spaces and other bicycle infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing and enthusiastic cycling community.
MIT created a Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program in 2009 for full-time employees. The program provides a reimbursement of up to $300 per year for the purchase, improvements, repair, or storage of a bicycle used for commuting to MIT. To increase flexibility for MIT commuters, revisions to the program were made this year that allow all cyclists to claim a partial subsidy even if they participate in other MIT-subsidized parking or transit programs.
MIT’s “Getting around MIT by Bicycle” map and information pamphlet provides information on bike lanes, bike parking areas, and bike repair stations. The brochure also educates the community on bike safety, etiquette, and security, and communicates the need to share the road with pedestrians, vehicles, and other roadway users.
MIT sponsors four Bluebikes stations with a total of 102 docks on campus. Two of the stations have been in place since the bike-share program began in Cambridge in 2012. These stations are some of the busiest in Cambridge and are located near 77 Massachusetts Avenue and on Vassar Street near the intersection with Main Street. Additional Bluebikes stations were installed on campus at Carleton Street and Hayward Street as part of the Kendall Square Initiative.
In addition to sponsoring Bluebikes stations, MIT subsidizes annual Bluebikes memberships for MIT students, staff, and faculty, offering memberships at $35/year (regularly $99/year). The subsidy has been very well received.
MIT is designated as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists for its excellent bike infrastructure and programs.
The Institute encourages the use of sustainable transportation methods, but also recognizes that it is necessary for many people to drive to cam­pus. To serve its students, faculty, staff, and visi­tors, MIT maintains a campus-wide inventory of vehicular parking spaces. MIT community members with parking accounts are assigned to specific parking areas around campus based primarily on where they work.

Point of Origin for Commuter Trips to Cambridge
Next survey is planned for 2022 due to Covid-19.

MIT Shuttle Routes

The most up-to-date information on MIT's shuttle service can be found on the Department of Facilities website.

Access MIT benefits include free MBTA passes and subsidies for other transportation methods.

Bicycles outside of the Student Center

Transportation Policy & Advocacy

MIT has been a major supporter of improve­ments to local and regional transportation, working closely with the City of Cambridge, the Kendall Square Association, the Cambridge Redevelopment Author­ity, the Cambridge Innovation Center, and other local organizations on the Transport Kendall campaign.


The Transport Kendall campaign focus areas include:

  • Grand Junction Corridor: Maximizing trans­portation benefits for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders
  • MBTA Red Line: Improving operational capacity and reliability to meet current and future de­mands
  • MBTA Bus Connections: Improving and increas­ing direct connections to and from Kendall Square

MIT has advocated directly for a Grand Junction transit and multi-use path connection to the proposed West Station as part of the I-90 interchange project. In December 2019, the Institute provided a detailed letter to MassDOT and the Federal Highway Administration in response to the National Environmental Policy Act Review Scoping document for the I-90 Allston Multimodal Project. In October 2020, MIT signed on to a letter to MassDOT Secretary Pollack seeking to make the modified all-at-grade I-90 solution the preferred alternative for this critical project.


MIT joined with 18 other large employers in Kendall for the Transporta­tion ADVANCE initiative, sponsored by the Kendall Square Association. The purpose of ADVANCE is to engage Kendall employers, gen­erate near-term transportation pilot projects for local companies, and tell the story of that expe­rience. MIT hopes to share its experience with Access MIT as an improved employee transit subsidy program with a switch from annual parking rates to a daily parking fee. Unfortunately, the pilot programs set to launch in March 2020 were put on hold as a result of Covid-19. Interest and participation in the ADVANCE has continued, as have plans for post-Covid pilot projects.

 

Parking spaces maintained in Cambridge
Number of parking spaces maintained on campus as reported 3,794
Commuting Mode of Choice  
Commuting Mode 2012 2014 2016 2018 2022
Drove alone entire way 22% 21% 18% 18% Next survey is planned for 2022 due to Covid-19.
Took public transportation 41% 39% 42% 43%
Carpooled 6% 6% 5% 5%
Bicycled 15% 15% 16% 16%
Walked 13% 14% 15% 15%
Other 3% 5% 3% 3%

 

View of the Zakim and Tobin bridges