MBTA Resources

Trip Planner

How to Use the MBTA

Boston’s public transit system is called the MBTA, otherwise known as ‘the T’. The T is a network of 12 Commuter Rail Lines (identified by destination), 5 Subway Lines (identified by color) and over 500 bus routes (identified by number). You can travel the Boston area easily, quickly and cheaply using this system. When using the MBTA system, it is helpful to know a few quick tips:

  • Sometimes the differentiation between ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ on the subway can be hard to understand. In general, if you are heading toward downtown Boston, your direction will be ‘inbound’. When headed towards the outskirts or suburbs, you will be going ‘outbound’. Use the final destination of the line you are using as reference.
  • The two major subway lines, the Red Line and the Green Line intersect at ‘Park Street’ Station. This is an easy place to transfer from one line to the other.
  • The Commuter Rail Line closest to Brandeis, the Fitchburg/South Acton Line, intersects with both the Red Line and the Orange and Green Line at ‘Porter Square’ and ‘North Station’ respectively.
  • Charlie Cards can be purchased at the Village Market located at 588 South Street. These plastic re-usable cards are not only convenient, but also save you 30 cents per ride!
  • Switching between subway lines is free, but transferring between different modes of transportation (i.e. the commuter rail and the subway) is not free, a reduced price is given when transfering.
  • There is a visitor/group rate available for the MBTA system. A one day pass costs $9 and gives you access to unlimited use of Subway, Local Bus, Commuter Rail Zone 1A and Inner Harbor Ferry travel. Purchase a pass at over 500 in-station fare vending machines or retail sales locations.

For more information and schedules, please visit the MBTA website.