Whether you are new to the city or planning a move to Boston, you need to know how to get around. This means having knowledge of Boston public transportation, the Massachusetts mass transit system, and its various options. Homebuyers moving to Boston and considering which city or town to live in are going to want to learn the letters MBTA.
What is the MBTA?
MBTA stands for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. It is the provider of all Boston public transportation and will be your key to basically getting anywhere that you need to be around Boston and even into many of the surrounding cities and towns.
The MBTA is made up of a system of trains, boats, as well as busses, that all work in sequence to get you from point to point throughout the system.
Understanding the Boston Area MBTA System
The Massachusetts mass transit system is broken up into four parts, including the commuter rail, subway, bus system, as well as boat/ferry system.
The commuter rail system is the one that is most popular for commuting into Boston. It has 11 different lines that run through 100 different MBTA stations. You can take the Commuter Rail from areas west, south and north right into the city of Boston in one ride. The commuter rail system starts at points as far as an hour outside Boston.
The subway system, which is referred to as the "T," is made up of a few different lines including the Blue Line, Orange Line, Green Line, Red Line, as well as the Sliver Line. These are going to be your main links in and around Boston. Say you are in the City of Melrose, one quick hop on the Orange Line starting at nearby Oak Grove T station can bring you right into the heart of downtown Boston.
The bus system has a local, inner-express, outer-express, as well as Silver Line schedule that, again, are all aimed at getting you around the City of Boston and even to a lot of the subway and commuter rail train stations.
The commuter boat system in place gets commuters around Boston Harbor and commuting from the North Shore and South Shore into the City of Boston (or into "town" as the locals might say).
Know the MBTA Schedule
You will want to have a firm grasp of the MBTA schedule so that you know when your particular commuter rail train is going to run. One common complaint about the commuter rail system is that trains run much less frequently than the subway system. Depending on where you are going, if you're five minutes late and miss your train you'll need to wait about 55 minutes for the next train. The subway system runs much more often, about every 10 minutes or so, during commuting hours. If you are hopping on the subway system, it is pretty easy as those trains run continuously throughout the day. The bus and boat systems also run less frequently. The MBTA's website has schedule information for the subway, commuter rail, bus and boat lines.
Public transportation for homebuyers moving to Boston can be boiled down to four letters, MBTA. Once know what the MBTA has to offer, what schedules look like, and what combination of bus, boat, and rail is going to get you where you want to be, when you need to be there, you will be a Boston public transportation pro in no time. Of course, Boston has roads too, but traffic can be tough around here.