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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Saving With Charlie

Charlie Card
Charlie Card




Coming right out of college, Star Li, a Cornell graduate, took what she learned and applied it right away by creating a downloadable app for any iPhone or Android user. The college mentality comes through in this app as it inspires spontaneity and gives one the opportunity for savings.

Vidappe-pronounced “vid-app”-will alert you whenever you’re in the vicinity of an establishment that offers discounts for MBTA CharlieCard users. Li originally developed the business model for Vidappe during her senior year, and then actually began to create it after graduation.

“I ended up winning this really major business plan competition at Cornell,” says Li. She continues, “I remember after I won thinking, ‘Oh, this might not be such a bad idea after all.'”

Once you download the app and subscribe to the MBTA Boston program, you might find yourself surprised at the number of discounts offered through your good ol’ CharlieCard. Establishments ranging from salons to museums and everything in between are offering what are mostly unknown discounts for Bostonians.

With around 150 businesses registered in the Boston program of the app, you’ll be sure to find a discount you’re interested in. This real-time app is definitely the future of coupon clipping, and with the cost of college going up, the more discounts, the better.

Destination: Savingstown - Need a suggestion to start reaping the commuter benefits? Here’s a few of the many discounts your CharlieCard offers.

  • Attractions: $2 off adult admission at the Franklin Park Zoo
  • Dining: 10% off at Prudential Center Ben & Jerry’s; free rosemary pommes frites with entrée purchase at Sel de la Terre
  • Museums: 50% off MIT Museum admission
  • Services: $50 driving credit for new Zipcar members with code MBTA11
  • Shopping: Savings at multiple Faneuil Hall and Prudential Center shops