Boston's Public Transportation

Getting Around Boston on Public Transportation

Best (& Cheapest) Ways to See Boston by Land & Water

Getting around Boston on public transportation saves you time, stress, and money. 

If you're planning to visit the city, you'll like how cheap and convenient getting around here can be - if you leave your car at home.

Boston's most popular public transportation options include the subway (usually called the "T"), bus, commuter rail, water taxis, and ferries, all under the management/regulatory umbrella of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). 


If you're here just for a visit, you're most likely to use the T and water taxis, plus several other ways of getting around: rental cars, land taxis, Boston's bike-share program ("Hubway"), city tour trolleys, and of course the easiest and cheapest of all: walking.

Boston's compact size means you can walk to most tourist, cultural, and entertainment destinations in less time than retrieving your car from a hotel parking lot would require - not to speak of the hassle of navigating through Boston traffic and then finding and paying dearly for parking near your destination!

Article Contents:  What You'll Find

Top Photo:  The T's Red Line crossing the Longfellow Bridge over the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge


How to Get Around Boston on Public Transportation

Boston's Subway - The "T"

The T's Green Line, across the street from Boston University
The T's Green Line, across the street from Boston University

You easily reach almost all of the city's biggest attractions by T (Boston's subway).  Except for walking, the T is the cheapest and easiest way to get around.

Find a subway map, how to get the cheapest fares, and everything else you need to know - and be sure to check out the affordable Visitors Weekly Pass,which gives you a great deal, depending on how much you plan to use it. 

More about the T


Boston's Water Taxis

Water taxi going from Boston Logan Airport to Long Wharf on the Downtown Waterfront
Water taxi going from Boston Logan Airport to Long Wharf on the Downtown Waterfront

What's the fastest way to get from one point to the other along Boston's Harbor?  Water taxi!

Whether you're going from Logan Airport to the Financial District or CruisePort, TD Garden/North Station to the South Boston Waterfront, or any other points near the water, a water taxi lets you avoid Boston's infamous traffic snarls and enjoy relaxing views along the way.

Find out more


Silver Line to/from Logan Airport

Silver Line bus at Logan Airport
Silver Line bus at Logan Airport

What are the best ways to get to Logan Airport using public transportation? 

Find out about the Silver Line & more options


Boston's Bike Share Program

Rack of Blue Bikes on Charles Street in Beacon Hill
Rack of Blue Bikes on Charles Street in Beacon Hill

Boston's BLUEbikes bike-share program (previously called Hubway) operates during warm months and gives you a convenient way to get around Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville.

Bring your own helmut! 

Find out everything you need to know to swipe your card and ride a BLUEbike

More Ways to Get Around Boston

If you're visiting Boston and looking for convenient ways to get around the city to see popular tourist attractions, or you're here on a cruise layover and are looking for shore excursions, consider these popular options:

Hop On / Hop Off Tour Trolleys

Hop on hop off trolley turning onto Charles Street in Beacon Hill, with Charles/MGH T station in the background
Hop On Hop Off trolley turning onto Charles Street in Beacon Hill, with Charles/MGH T station in the background

Want to combine a sightseeing tour with the chance to explore on your own?

Boston's Hop On Hop Off trolleys give you a narrated tour as you ride past all the top attractions - plus you can get off, explore as long as you want, and get back on whenever you want. 

Find out more about the Hop On Hop Off trolleys 

Get your Hop On Hop Off trolley tickets now!


Bus to Wrentham Village Outlets

Wrentham Village discount outlets
Wrentham Village discount outlets

Want to save a ton of money at Boston's biggest designer outlet shopping mall? 

Although Wrentham Village is not in Boston - it's actually 40 miles to the south - you actually have several good choices for getting there, including the commuter train, a daily express bus, and a cheap rental car option for the day. 

Once you see the standard discounts from about 25% to 70% off the retail price and even more exciting savings during sales, you'll be glad you made the trip!

More about Wrentham Village Outlets

Book your round trip express bus ticket to Wrentham Village

Getting Out of Boston

Fast Ferry to Provincetown

The Provincetown Fast Ferry leaving Boston
The Provincetown Fast Ferry leaving Boston on a Friday afternoon

Convenient and frequent ferry service from Boston to Provincetown puts this beautiful art-filled village at the tip of Cape Cod within easy reach.

Board the ferry - actually, a high-speed catamaran - on the Boston waterfront, watch the Boston skyline grow smaller behind you, and 90 minutes later, you'll be stepping onto the dock Provincetown.

Find out more about the ferry to Provincetown


The Patriot Train

The Patriot Train - best way to get to Gillette Stadium from Boston
The Patriot Train - best way to get to Gillette Stadium from Boston

Do you have tickets to a New England Patriots game and need to get from Boston to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough? 

Find out how to take the Patriot Train when the Patriots have home games at Gillette . . . plus other options for getting to the stadium when the train isn't running. 

Find out more


Boston - NYC Bus Service

Peter Pan bus - Getting from Boston to NYC
Peter Pan, one of the many bus companies providing service between Boston and New York

Need to travel between Boston and New York City? 

What's the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way to make this trip? 

Bus companies offer cheap rates (when you book in advance) and service options for this popular route, but other transport can be just as affordable, so check out Amtrak / Acela as well as cheap flights to New York's airports.  

Check out our roundup with pros and cons for each option

Boston Maps

Free Boston map showing the Freedom Trail (in red)
Free Boston map showing the Freedom Trail

Finding your way around Boston can be confusing without a map. 

GPS tells you where to turn, but a map shows you the big picture.  And in a city like Boston where only one neighborhood (Back Bay) features relatively straight streets, a map helps you orient.

But don't worry about how much a good map will cost you - some of the best Boston maps are free. 

Find out where to get the best free maps of Boston

Fun Ways to Explore Boston

The easiest form of transportation around Boston is on foot. 

If you're visiting the city, here are some fun guide-led and self-guided walking tours for you to try:

Guide-Led Walking Tours


Self-Guided Walking Tours

Try these self-guided walking tours:


Getting Around Boston by Car:  Driving & Parking

Driving in Boston

Traffic in Boston's Theatre District
Traffic in Boston's Theatre District

What is driving in Boston like?  Should you try it?

Our streets are narrow and winding, directions can be confusing, and Boston traffic congestion is not for the faint-hearted. 

So if you have a choice about taking public transportation or driving, save yourself some grief:  don't drive! 

But if you have to, read our 14 essential tips for driving and surviving in Boston.


Boston Car Rentals

Avis car rentals - Boston

Despite the difficulties of driving in Boston, there are times when you need to have a car, even just few a few hours or a couple of days. 

If that is your situation, here are your best car rental options.


Where to Park Your Car in Boston

Finding an affordable place to park in Boston is never easy.  Here's what you need to know: 

  • Parking in Boston - The "big picture" about what to expect, what to avoid, and best places to park
  • Parking near Fenway Park - Finding parking for a Red Sox game has always been tough, but construction in the area now makes it harder than ever.  Find out how to snag the best and cheapest parking spaces
  • Parking near TD Garden - There are lots of parking garages near the Garden, but some are really expensive.  Here's where to find the cheap ones 
  • Parking under Boston Common - Want to know the easiest and often the cheapest place to park in Boston?  Find out about the Boston Common Parking Garage
  • Parking in the Theatre District - Find the best places to park when you're going to a show or comedy club in or near the Theatre District

RV Parking near Boston

We get numerous questions about parking RVs in Boston.  Here are some of the questions, along with our answers:

CruisePort Visitors

Cruise ship at Boston's cruiseport
Cruise ship at Boston's CruisePort

Transportation between Logan Airport & CruisePort

Need transportation between Logan International Airport in East Boston and Boston's Raymond B. Flynn (Black Falcon) Cruise Terminal? 

Check out the best options


Boston Shore Excursions from CruisePort

Want to explore Boston when your cruise ship stops at our Cruise Terminal for a Port of Call visit?

For the ultimate convenience, choose a shore excursion tour designed specifically for cruise ship visitors.   They pick you up close to the CruisePort, and are designed to make sure you're back in plenty of time to re-board your ship before departure.  Book them directly online, and you'll usually save money compared with making reservations through your cruise ship or travel agent. 

Alternately, you can easily explore on your own.  Boston's Cruise Terminal is in the city's trendiest waterfront neighborhood, and just a short walk from other top attractions such as the Freedom Trail.

 Find out more

Where to Store Your Luggage in Boston

Logan Airport
Logan International Airport - arrival area

Have a Boston layover for just a few hours or a day, and want to sightsee without your luggage? 

Finding luggage storage can be tricky - but here are the best storage options, depending on your location:

Questions & Answers about Boston Transportation


More to See & Do in Boston

Need a Boston Hotel?

Use this handy hotel map from Booking.com to find the perfect place to stay.  Just enter your dates to find what's available, see the best rates, and make your reservations.

Booking.com

More to See & Do in Boston