Boston - Public Transportation Information



Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority




The MBTA Commuter Rail system is the the commuter rail service of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's transportation in the Greater Boston area.

Trains originate at two major terminals in Boston — South Station and North Station — both transportation hubs offer connections to Amtrak, local bus, and subway lines.

The following lines terminate at South Station
• Greenbush Line (Gb)
• Old Colony Lines (Oc), consisting of:
o Kingston/Plymouth Line
o Middleborough/Lakeville Line
• Fairmount Line (Fa)
• Providence/Stoughton Line (Ps)
• Franklin Line (Fr)
• Needham Line (Ne)
• Framingham/Worcester Line (Fw

The following lines terminate at North Station (listed from west to northeast):[2]
• Fitchburg Line (Fb)
• Lowell Line (Lo)
• Haverhill Line (Ha)
• Newburyport/Rockport Line (Nr)





MTBA 5 Subway lines

  • Blue Line
  • Green Line
  • Orange Line
  • Red Line (Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line)
  • Silver Line

The system operates according to a spoke-wheel design, with the lines running radially to and from central Boston

The various subway lines do not consistently run in any given compass direction, so directions refer to line directions as "inbound" or "outbound". Inbound trains travel towards the four downtown transfer stations, and outbound trains travel away from these hub stations.





The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operates 178 bus routes in the Greater Boston area

Go to the MBTA bus route website for more info.




The MBTA Boat system has 3 ferry routes via Boston Harbor.

  • Hingham Shipyard - Rowes Wharf
  • Hingham, Hull - Long Wharf, Boston via Logan Airport
  • Long Wharf - Charlestown Navy Yard

One of these is an inner harbor service, linking the downtown waterfront with the Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown.

The other routes are commuter routes, , linking downtown to Hingham, Hull, and Salem.

Some commuter services operate via Logan International Airport.

CharlieCard, CharlieTicket, and T-Passes

The CharlieCard and CharlieTicket are a reloadable card used to pay for rides on the:

MBTA T (Subways) and Buses

  • You may buy paper Tickets and store value cards (CharlieCards, CharlieTickets) for single or multiple rides

A convenient and economical way to pay for MBTA fares on Buses and T ( Subway/rail) is using the CharlieCards and CharlieTickets. 
Cash is not accepted except on Buses.

Instead of paying each time you use the T (rail/subway),  use "store value" (put cash) on your CharlieTicket, or  CharlieCards.

Your fare will be deducted each time you ride the T, allowing you to pay as you go on the subway and bus:
 - Note: Leftover CharlieCard value may not be redeemed for cash, check, or credit.
 - A stored-value payments may incur a surcharge when purchased on a CharlieTicket. No surcharge is incurred when using a CharlieCard
 - Bus and Subway transfers are discounted when you use the CharlieCard.
 - With a CharlieTicket, the full fare, plus the surcharge will be deducted when you board the bus or subway.
 - Local Bus-to-Local Bus transfers are free when you use a CharlieCard or a CharlieTicket.

Detailed information on the CharlieCard




Consider buying a T-pass and loading it to your CharlieCard if staying in Boston for many days.

Day/Week LinkPass

 $12.00 for 1 day

$19.00 for 7 days

Unlimited travel on Subway, Local Bus, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A and only if purchased on a CharlieTicket.

1-Day Pass is valid 24 hours from date and time of purchase.

7-Day Pass valid for 7 days from the date and time of purchase.

Private Tour companies

Hop on Hop off bus tours are convenient if you don't want to deal with public transportation. The Go Boston card by Smart Destinations includes The City View Trolley Tour which makes 9 stops.  Stops are near most tourist sites and you can hop on and off anytime the service runs.

The Go Boston card also includes Boston Bike Rentals for the waterfront/Quincy area and the Liberty Ride in Lexington/Concord area.

Check them out to save money!