Cambridge Café 'Life Alive' Brings Vintage MBTA Token Currency 'Back Alive'

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An old payment has found new meaning at a vegetarian café chain in Cambridge.

Life Alive Organic Café says vintage T tokens are being accepted as payment at its Kendall and Davis locations for complimentary Greens, Grains, or Broth Bowl during each cafe's opening week.

The Kendall Square location at 415 Main Street began accepting T tokens on its grand opening date of Thursday, June 28 and is set to continue to do so until July 5.

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The tokens are most likely in possession of longtime Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority riders, but newer commuters can snag a token from Life Alive teams stationed at the Kendall/MIT and Davis Squares stops on the Red Line. According to café officials, tokens will be handed out between Tuesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 30. Though tokens can be found by other means, as the café told its clientele to follow their Instagram for more token-earning opportunities.

WBZ's Matt Shearer spoke with Life Alive's CEO Bryan Timko who says the new promotion makes the T tokens worth more than they originally were for MBTA trips about a decade ago.

"You probably paid a $1.25 for it but from now to July 5— it's worth $11 here at Life Alive. We're doing our best to fight inflation in this challenging times," Timko said. But what will Life Alive do the useless dime-sized coins after July 5 has come and gone? Timko says they'll be put to good use inside their new stores.

"We're going to put together a nice art piece that we're going to hang in the café here for good measure," Timko said. Life Alive says on their website the artwork will be commissioned to a local artist, and when finished, will be put on display in both their Kendall and Davis cafes.

Life Alive also has locations around Back Bay, Harvard Square, Boston University, the South End, Salem, and Lowell.

WBZ's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.

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