Whether you’re new to the city of just visiting, getting around Boston can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the streets! Thankfully, Boston public transportation is available to help you get where you need to be. There are many public transportation options in Boston including subway lines, bus routes, commuter rail lines, and ferry routes. These are all run by MBTA, but locals simply refer to them as “The T.” Other public transportation in Boston include Bluebikes, which is a bike share program. With so many options, it can be hard to decide which routes to take to get to each place, but you don’t need to spend hours researching. Check out the best way to get around Boston using public transportation below!
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Public Transportation in Boston by MBTA Subway
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Subway is one of the most popular ways to get around Boston. Run by MBTA, it’s known for being on time and a quick way to commute throughout the Greater Boston area. There are four different subway lines: Red line, Orange line, Blue line, and Green line. The red line runs north west throughout Boston, starting at Mattapan and Braintree stops, and ending at Alewife. The Orange line runs southwest from Forest Hills and north to Oak Grove. Blue line runs northeast starting at Bowdoin and ending at Wonderland. Green line is dominant on the west side of Boston, encompassing Boston College, Cleveland Circle, Riverside, and Heath Street. It runs slightly northeast to end at Lechmere.
MBTA Subway Fares
One-Way Pass: $2.40 with one free transfer to bus
7-Day Pass: $22.50
Monthly Link Pass: $90.00
MBTA Schedule and Hours
The trains run from 5AM – 1AM. The trains run about every 5 minutes during peak hours or every 15 minutes on weekends and non-peak hours.
MBTA Subway Contact Info
MBTA Bus Routes in Boston
Another way that people travel through Boston is using the MBTA bus routes. There are two bus lines, Crosstown and Silver line. There are over 50 different routes, and the best way to figure out how the bus can help you is to go to this link and input where you’re coming from and where you’re planning to go. Then, the website will tell you exactly which busses to take and when to take them. Most people do a combination of subway and bus depending on where they’re located. The busses cover the Greater Boston area and surrounding suburbs.
MBTA Bus Fares
Inner Express Bus One-Way: $4.25
Outer Express Bus One-Way: $5.25
Monthly Link Pass: $55.00
7-Day Pass: $22.50
MBTA Bus Schedule and Hours
Every bus has their own route depending on the popularity of it. However, busses run around every 20 minutes and run between the hours of 5AM – 1AM. There are a few busses that also run from 1AM – 5AM, but not all of them. You can check the schedules here.
MBTA Bus Contact Info
1400 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, (800) 392-6100
Getting Around Boston by Commuter Rail
The commuter rail is one of the easiest ways to get around Boston if you need to get somewhere quickly that’s further than the subway runs. This is also run by the MBTA. There are 12 different commuter rail lines that service Boston: Fairmount, Fitchburg, Framingham, Franklin, Greenbush, Haverhill, Kingston, Lowell, Middleborough, Needham, Newburyport, and Providence. You can find the Boston commuter rail map here. They cover 398 miles and have 141 different stations. Expect to pay a bit more than the subway or bus. It can be a bit confusing trying to use this public transportation in Boston, so you’ll definitely want to go here and plug in your starting address and ending address to get instructions of which commuter rail routes to take.
MBTA Commuter Rail Fares
Commuter Rail One Way: $2.40 – $13.25
Commuter Rail Monthly Pass: $90.00 – $426.00
MBTA Commuter Rail Schedule and Hours
Each rail line has a different schedule. However, most of the rails run from 6 AM – 12 AM. During peak hours (morning and evening), the rails run every 20-30 minutes. The best way to find the schedule you need is to go here and click on the commuter line that you’ll be using.
MBTA Commuter Rail Contact Info
1 (800) 392-6100
Getting Around Boston, MA By Ferry
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Because Boston is surrounded by water, one of the fastest ways to get from one side of Boston to the other is by using a ferry. There are two different ferries in Boston that are common to use. Charlestown ferry starts at the Charlestown station and goes to Long Wharf South. The other ferry is the Hingham-Hull ferry. There are multiple routes that this ferry takes. One of them starts at Long Wharf North and goes to Logan Airport ferry dock and Pemberton Point. The other starts at Rowes Wharf and ends at Hewitt’s Cove. This is a great way to get to downtown Boston from surrounding islands or bay-side cities. A lot of people also use this to get to and from the airport. Riding the ferry is a fairly relaxing ride that will take around 15 minutes.
One Way: $3.90 – $9.75
Monthly Pass: $90.00 – $375.00
Ferry Schedule and Hours
The ferries run every 15 minutes on weekdays and go from 6:30AM – 8:00AM.
Ferry Contact Info
60 Rowes Wharf, Boston MA 02110, 617-222-3200
Getting Around Boston Without a Car With Bluebikes
Bluebikes is Boston’s public transportation bike share program. This is the best way to get around Boston for students or those who only need to go a short distance downtown. Bluebikes is owned by Lyft, and they have over 3,000 bikes and 300 stations, making it easy to grab a bike and drop it off anywhere. All you have to do is pick up a bike from one of the many stations in Boston, Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville. Ride around and then return the bike to any station, even if it’s all the way across town! This is all set up through an app on your phone, and it’s a popular way to see Boston. It’s recommended that you wear a helmet and use bike lanes whenever available, but it isn’t required.
Single Trip: $2.50
Adventure Pass (unlimited 2-hour rides in 24 hours): $10.00
Annual Pass: $99.00
Blue bike is open 24 hours, so you can use this easy public transportation in Boston whenever you need.
536-540 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, 1-855-948-2929
FAQs About Getting Around Boston, MA
Do you need a car to get around Boston?
There are some parts of Boston that are walkable, but most of the time, you’ll need to drive to get to where you’re going. However, you don’t need a car thanks to the popular public transit in Boston.
What public transportation is in Boston?
Boston has transportation by bike, ferry, commuter rail, subway, and bus.
How do I get from Logan International Airport to Downtown Boston?
There are multiple ways to get from the airport to Boston. One of the most popular is using the ferry at the Logan International Airport Ferry Dock and taking it to Long Wharf North.
If you’re looking for great public transportation in Boston, there’s no shortage of options! Though it can be a bit overwhelming at first, once you’re in the city for a while, it becomes easy to use the “T” to your advantage. If you’re looking at Boston public transportation because you’re relocating to the city, give Mass Bay Movers a call at 978-587-3775. We’re a top-rated Boston moving company and will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on more important things (like figuring out your commute!)