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Boston Public Transportation

International Scholars > Public Transportation

The public transportation system in the Boston area is called the "T" and includes a system of subways, trolleys, buses, and trains. Subway and bus stops on the street are indicated by "T" street signs. Service runs seven days a week from approximately 5:30 am to 12:30 am. For schedule information and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) maps, visit the MBTA website.

Bus fare is usually $1.60 with a plastic, stored-value CharlieCard and $2.10 with a paper CharlieTicket or cash. If using cash, you should deposit the exact change in the coin box near the driver as you get on at the front of the bus. Local bus transfers are free with a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. Monthly passes are available. More information

Subway fare is $2.10 with a CharlieCard and $2.65 with a paper CharlieTicket. You must purchase a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket at a station and then use it to gain access to the trains. For trolley lines, you can also deposit the fare ($2.65) in cash in the front of the trolley as you enter. Monthly LinkPasses for subway and local buses are also available. More information

Commuter Rail (Purple Line) fare varies depending on the distance of the trip and the time of day. You can purchase tickets at the booth before you board the train or pay the fare plus a service charge on board the train. Monthly passes are also available. The commuter rail trains leave from North Station, South Station, and Porter Square. Service on all public transportation systems is less frequent on the weekends. More information

Bus, subway, and/or commuter rail passes offer unlimited rides and substantial savings if you use the "T". You may purchase "T" passes through MIT, at some stations, or on the MBTA website.

When taking trips in and out of Boston, you may travel by train, bus, or airplane with major connections through Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; and New York, NY. Logan International Airport is easily reached on the Blue Line "T" or Silver Line bus. Boston has an Amtrak Train Station (1-800-872-7245), and a bus station that includes a Greyhound Bus Terminal (617-526-1800), Peter Pan Bus Lines (1-800-343-9999), and a Concord Trailways Bus Terminal (617-426-8080). These are located at South Station and easily accessible by the Red Line "T". All have networks of regularly scheduled stops throughout the United States.

To return to MIT from Logan Airport, you can take either a taxi or the "T". Additionally, the MIT Parking and Transportation Office runs airport shuttle services during Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This program was created to help the MIT community alleviate transportation problems during the holiday seasons. Schedules and procedures will be posted on their website a few weeks in advance of the holiday. Please take advantage of this very convenient service.


MBTA Maps and Bus Schedules. Available at the Park Street, Harvard, and Government Center subway stations, by calling 617-222-3200, or on the MBTA website. Also, the International Scholars Office has some information and maps for your convenience.

The Boston Transit Map. Available at most small convenience stores, the MIT Coop, and LaVerde's in the Stratton Student Center. This is a good map showing trains, bus routes, and streets in Boston and the surrounding areas.

Car-Free in Boston: The Guide to Public Transit in Greater Boston and New England. A reference copy is available in the International Scholars Office.

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Last Updated: November 2015

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