Given the large size of Boston, it’s still considered a walkable city. But, when you’re in a hurry or have a considerable distance to cover, taking public transportation can save you time. Fortunately, public transport in Boston is diverse, covers a lot of ground, is reliable and affordable. If you prefer to have a shorter commute, you can consider renting an apartment from Blueground. Many apartments available for rent are in Boston’s sought after neighborhoods, like South End and the Financial District. Turnkey apartments lend stunning views of the city and the Bay. Once you’ve decided where you want to live, you can read this guide about public transportation options.
The Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority (MBTA) is Boston’s public transportation system. It encompasses the subway system, commuter rail trains, buses, and ferries.
Locals refer to the subway in Boston as the “T.” It’s called this because the letter “T” is on the sides of all subway cars. Besides walking, riding the “T” is the easiest way to get around the city center. Also, it’s convenient and affordable. Taking the subway gives you access to all Boston’s major attractions. Also, you can take the subway to and from the Boston Logan Airport, into Cambridge, and nearby suburbs.
The ‘T” has five different lines; a green, red, orange, blue and silver line. Subway stops are easy to locate. Look for signs with a big “T” and a circle around it throughout the streets. Times of operation vary by line. But most start the day around 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and end around midnight to 1 p.m. Before boarding the subway you can buy a “Charlie ticket” at the nearby vending machines. A one-way fare costs $2.75 using the paper version of the Charlie ticket. The fare is only $2.25 if you buy the plastic version of the Charlie ticket. If you plan to take the “T” often, the plastic card is more suitable. You can load it many times, each time selecting the amount of your choosing. For a map and schedule of each “T” line, visit this website.
The commuter rail trains serve the population of residents who live in the suburbs and commute to downtown for work. Train times are more infrequent than the subway and have more restrictive weekend schedules. Most of the commuter rail trains begin service around 6 a.m. on weekdays and end service close to 1 a.m. Service on the weekends stops around 11 p.m. Prices to ride the train vary depending on the zone you leave from. There are 10 zones in total and prices range from $2.25 to $12.50 for a one-way trip.
Another option for public transport in Boston is the bus system. People who ride the bus usually come from the outskirts of Boston. In other cases, people ride the bus while in the city center to get around cheaply. Local bus prices for a one-way trip range from $1.70 to $2.00. Children who are 11 years and younger ride for free when accompanied by an adult. You can buy daily, weekly, and monthly passes at the fare vending machines, in select retail stores, or online.
Residents living in Massachusetts’ North or South shores, can commute to work on the ferry. Besides commuting to work, many take the ferry for public transport in Boston because of the scenic views. While enjoying the ride, passengers of the ferry take in the sights of the Boston Harbor and Boston Harbor Islands. Depending on your departure location, fares range from $3.50 – $18.50 for a one-way ticket. A spontaneous weekend escape has never been easier.
To reach the ferry from Boston’s city center, you can find the main ferry terminals located along Atlantic Ave. They are within walking distance of each other and Aquarium Station. Ferries operate year-round, regardless of weather. As such, there is indoor and outdoor seating for passengers. Some of the ferry’s popular destinations include Salem, Boston Logan Airport, Charleston, and Winthrop. You can even give back to the Boston Harbor Islands through their Volunteers-in-Parks program.
BLUEbikes is a public bike sharing system in Metro Boston. They have over 2,500 bikes and more than 260 stations across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. When the weather is nice, what better way to reach your next destination than pedaling your way there. There are several convenient ways to pay, including online, the station kiosk, or using their app. You can elect for a single ride, day pass, monthly pass, or annual pass. Due to the snowy winters, BLUEbikes only operates during spring, summer, and fall.
There are many public transport options in the greater Boston area. You can easily leave your car at home, and take the subway or train to work. Enjoy Boston’s skyline while taking the ferry to the airport. Your choices are plentiful.