Commuter Rail Subsidy

Get in to Boston for free for internships and educational opportunities. Brought to you by the Student Union, Campus Operations, and the Hiatt Career Center.

How it Works

Brandeis will reimburse all currently enrolled full time undergraduate and graduate students for the full cost of a round trip commuter rail ticket (subject to limitations described below) for all eligible travel from the Brandeis MBTA rail stop to Porter Square or North Station. Eligible travel includes trips for internships of various sorts (which need to be communicated to and approved by the Hiatt Career Center), academic purposes (such as enrolling in classes or attending lectures or symposia at other academic institutions, visiting libraries for specific research needs, or visiting exhibits or historic or cultural sites associated with a student’s classes or general field of study or academic interest), or cultural or artistic purposes (museum visits, attendance at plays or concerts, or other artistic events).

While we are purposely defining eligible trips fairly broadly, there are many possible reasons a student would want to use the commuter rail to go downtown that are not eligible for reimbursement, including trips for exclusively social purposes like attending a party, or going on a date, or visiting family or friends, or getting to the airport or South Station to take a trip home or anywhere away from the city.

This program will cover the cost of trips which occur outside the normal hours of the Brandeis Boston Shuttle, which runs during the following hours:

During hours that the Boston and Cambridge shuttle is running, no reimbursement will be made for students using the commuter rail.

This program will be advertised starting this semester, by the Student Union and by Hiatt. The actual effective dates for the period trial will be Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 (after freshman move in) through May 12, 2020 (last day of finals).


The mechanism for reimbursement will be kept as simple as possible, and primarily administered by the Hiatt Career Center. Students seeking reimbursement must fill out a reimbursement request located on the Hiatt funding and resources page and attach their train or event ticket. If a ticketed event was the purpose of the event, the ticket stub itself will suffice as a written explanation of purpose, provided a date is clearly visible.

The staff at Hiatt reserve the right to ask for more detail and possibly the corroboration of a faculty or staff member if a student seeks multiple reimbursements for academic-related purposes that cannot be independently verified readily by Hiatt. Upon receipt of one or more properly submitted qualifying requests for reimbursement, the Hiatt staff will coordinate with accounts payable staff to cut the student a check for the costs of the trip(s). The check will be mailed to the students mailing address of record. Reimbursements will be processed approximately three times a semester.


The program cost for the trial will be split equally by the Student Union and the Administration. The program cost exposure for the trial program is limited to $10,000 for each funding party. If the program cost begins to approach that amount before May 2020, the Student Union and the Administration will meet to discuss options.

The cost of any additional travel from the destination train stop will be the student’s responsibility.

The pilot program will be evaluated for utilization, effectiveness and continuation during the Spring 2020 semester.

Contact if you have questions.