Getting Around Boston

getting around Boston by subway

Boston is home to the nation’s first subway system. This mural in Park Street Station commemorates it. Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.


The MBTA includes bus and subway services for getting around Boston. On Sunday through Thursday the trains begin at approximately 5:15 a.m. and close between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m. Late night service on Friday and Saturday extends the hours of trains and select bus routes until about 2:30 a.m. With a temporary CharlieTicket, or paying cash as your board, each ride costs $2.65. With a CharlieCard you can load stored value on, and each trip costs $2.10. Day LinkPasses cost $12, Week LinkPasses cost $19, and Monthly LinkPasses cost $75 for unlimited subway and local bus access. Seniors, persons with disabilities, and junior or high school students pay $1.05 per ride. Children ages 11 and under ride for free.

getting around Boston by MBTA

Yes, that is the MBTA map printed on a cow. Photo by Matt Chan.

The Red Line runs from Alewife Station in Cambridge, MA, through downtown Boston, to the Ashmont or Mattapan Stations in Dorchester, MA or to the Braintree Station. The Orange Line runs from the Oak Grove Station in Malden, MA, passes through downtown Boston, and reaches the Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain. The Blue Line runs from the Wonderland Station in Revere, MA to the Bowdoin Station in Beacon Hill. The Silver Line offers transport from Logan Airport and Design Center, through downtown Boston, to the Dudley Square Station in Roxbury.

The Green Line starts at the Lechmere Station in Cambridge, MA, runs through Boston, and has four outbound branches named the B, C, D, and E trains. The B Line starts at the Park Street Station, passes through Boston University, Allston, and Brighton, and ends at Boston College. The C Line starts at North Station, passes through Brookline, and ends in Brighton at the Cleveland Circle Station. The D Line starts at the Park Street Station, passes through Fenway and Brookline, and either ends at the Reservoir Station in Brighton or continues on to the Riverside Station in Newton, MA. The E Line runs from Lechmere Station to the Heath Street/VA Medical Center Station in Mission Hill.

Getting around Boston by the MBTA

MBTA Subway and Commuter Rail Map.

Boston Commuter Rail

The MBTA offers several commuter rail lines for connections to and from other parts of Massachusetts. Fares vary depending on your starting point and destination. From North Station run the Fitchburg Line (which also connects to the Porter Square Station on the Red Line), the Haverhill Line (which also connects to the Malden Center Station on the Orange Line), and the Lowell, Newburyport, and Rockport Lines

From South Station and Back Bay Station (on the Orange Line) run the Worcester, Needham, Providence/Stoughton, and Franklin. The Needham Heights Line also connects to the Ruggles and Forest Hills Stations on the Orange Line. The Franklin and Providence/Stoughton Lines also connect to the Ruggles Station on the Orange Line. From South Station, JFK/UMass Station, and Quincy Center Station (on the Red Line) run the Greenbush Line, the Kingston/Plymouth Line, and the Middleborough/Lakeville Line. The Middleborough/Lakeville and Kingston/Plymouth Lines also connect to the Braintree Station on the Red Line. From South Station also runs the Fairmount Line.

Getting around Boston by Taxi.

Boston taxis will take you to all the food you can eat in the North End. Photo by Kan Wu.

Getting around Boston by Taxi

There are a variety of taxi companies in Boston. Fares start at around $2.60 for the first 1/7 mile, and $0.40 for each subsequent 1/7 mile. Some of the major taxi companies include Boston Cab, City Cab, ITOA, Metro Cab, 617TaxiCab, and Independent Cab. At popular destinations in Boston such as Faneuil Hall, Copley Place, South Station, North Station, Back Bay Station, and of course, Logan Airport, taxi stands guarantee a steady supply of cabs for getting around Boston. Be sure to look for the medallion on the car that says “Boston Licensed Taxi.”

Logan Airport

Boston Logan International Airport is the largest transportation center in New England, with 1,700 acres of land, two hotels, a non-denominational chapel, parking, four terminals, and 94 gates. Over 40 nonstop airlines fly to more than 100 destinations in the United States and around the World. Parking rates start at $20 per day for Economy and $29 per day for regular rate parking. Logan Airport is also accessible by the Silver Line train on the MBTA or by shuttle bus connection to the Blue Line.

Parking in Boston

Street parking around Boston is operated through parking meters. On Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., parking costs $1.25 per hour for a maximum of two hours. Parking is free on Sundays and legal holidays, with no time limit.

There are also many parking garages around popular destinations in Boston, and rates vary. One of the most popular is the Boston Common Garage, which is located in the center of Boston and has lower rates than many nearby alternatives. Other options include garages near Fenway, Boston University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Northeastern University, Longwood Medical area, Back Bay, the TD Garden, Faneuil Hall, Boston Harbor, the North End, and the Theater District.