Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
Boston visitors and residents have been using public transportation to travel around the city since omnibuses began operating in Boston during the 1830s. Streetcars started transporting Boston passengers in the 1850s and subways began running in the city in 1897. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) was created in 1947 to oversee Boston's public transportation system. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), also referred to as the T, took over the system in 1964. The MBTA operates subways, buses, commuter trains and ferries in the Boston area.
Boston's subway system has five lines. The Blue Line travels southwest under Boston Harbor from the city of Revere. It stops at the Government Center in Boston. The Red Line takes passengers from Alewife to Braintree through Harvard Square and downtown Boston. The Silver Line stops at Boston's waterfront and Logan Airport. The Green Line goes from Government Center to East Cambridge. The Orange Line starts north of Boston in Oak Grove. It travels south and then southwest through Boston to Forest Hills.
Boston is served by over 100 bus routes. Passengers can transfer to buses at a number of subway stations. Express buses travel from nearby towns into Boston. Several bus routes stop at Logan Airport.
Twelve commuter rail lines take passengers into Boston from nearby cities. The lines that serve towns north of Boston are Fitchburg, Lowell, Newburyport/Rockport and Haverhill. The rail lines that serve commuters who live south of the center of Boston are Framingham/Worcester, Middleborough/Lakeville, Providence/Stoughton, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, Franklin and Fairmount. The Needham Line travels east into Boston from Needham Heights. Commuters can connect to subways and buses from the commuter rail.
Commuter ferries from the towns of Hingham, Hull and Quincy stop at Boston Harbor. An inner harbor ferry takes passengers from the Boston's Long Wharf to Charlestown.
Click here for a detailed map of the MTBA subway lines