Boston Transportation

Transportation around Boston, MABoston’s street grid is notoriously convoluted. Tradition says that the streets were laid out along old cow paths. While this is not exactly true, getting around Boston can be confusing. Luckily, Boston is one of the most walkable cities in America. It is dense and compact. No one stays lost for long because everything is close together.

Maps are available all over Boston, both for sale and posted along major streets. Once a traveler gets his or her bearings, walking around Boston becomes a way to discover interesting surprises.

As easy as it is to walk around Boston, the city is served by an excellent public transportation system. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) operates the oldest underground rail system in the country, known locally as the T. The T consists of five lines, the Red, Blue, Orange, Green and Silver, that run to points of interest throughout the city and in neighboring communities. The T is a convenient and affordable way to explore Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Quincy. Commercial development tends to center around T stops, and the tracks are laid out to connect to major cultural attractions.

In addition to the five main subway lines, the Mattapan High Speed trolley system runs between Ashmont Station and Mattapan Square. Antique street cars run through marshland and past Adams Square, the former home of the Baker’s Chocolate Factory, now picturesque apartments in a unique district on the Boston border. The High Speed Line is the only train system that runs through a cemetery.

The MBTA also operates the seventh busiest bus system in the U.S. No part of Boston is unreachable by mass transit.

The subways stop running after midnight in order to conduct regular maintenance on the tracks. The buses stop after 2:00AM. Boston is served by an efficient and modern fleet of taxis that are regulated by the city. Cabs regularly patrol all the neighborhoods and it is normally easy to find one without needing to call.

Tour travel is possible by a number of private operators, including double decker buses that take visitors to points of interest. In addition, Boston famous Duck Tours are a regular sight on the streets and in the Charles River. These vehicles are refurbished WWII amphibious vehicles that take visitors around landmarks scattered throughout the city, then show an unparalleled from the water as the vehicles driver right into the Charles River Basin and circle between Boston and Cambridge.

With all the transportation options available in Boston, there is no need to rent a car when staying in the city.