Taking the T in Boston
Traffic in Boston is heavy and parking is expensive. Save money and time by learning to use the T, Boston’s subway system.
The Basics of the T
The T primarily covers the downtown Boston area, but it has branches that extend out to the suburbs. Fares are based on a one-way trip, and those with a reusable plastic “Charlie Card” enjoy a slight discount for each ride. There are five main lines, designated by color – red, orange, blue, green, and silver. The green and red lines do split to go in different directions, so you’ll have to pay attention when riding those lines. Boston’s subway typically runs from 5 am to 12:30 am, but different trains may have different hours. Check the schedule if you are planning an early morning or late night. Senior and student fares are available, and children under 11 ride free with a paying adult.
Using the T
Grab a map to help you plan your trip. These are usually available at any station. There are fare machines outside of the gates. Use these to purchase your ticket. To enter, put your ticket into the gate, walk forward and grab the ticket again ad you pass through the gate. You’ll need the ticket to exit, so don’t forget to take it. “Inbound” trains go toward the center of Boston. “Outbound” ones go away from the city. Stand behind the yellow line while waiting for a train. If the station is fairly crowded, people might start forming lines to board the train.
The T is an affordable way to travel around Boston, but you pay the same price whether you’re going one stop or across town. Save money by purchasing passes. A day pass is worth it if you plan to make more than four trips on the subway. Those staying longer should consider purchasing a week-long pass. It’s less than twice the cost of the day pass, so it’s a good deal even if you’re not staying a full week. These passes allow you to ride on the bus and commuter ferry as well.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Boston’s subway system.
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.