Boston - Getting In -

Logan International Airport

The MBTA Blue line is reasonably convenient and inexpensive provided that you are not carrying much luggage. Several free Massport shuttles provide connectivity to rail, water transit, and parking. For the Blue Line, look for the one with the electronic sign that says "SUBWAY". The fare is $1.25, and exact change is not needed. The last Blue Line train leaves the airport shortly after about 12:30 AM.

The Airport station has been recently renovated and is more uplifting, but a poor job was done for the luggage sliders to help you get through the turnstiles. Change at Government Center for Green Line trains and at State Street for Orange Line trains. If you need a red line train, you could to take a Green Line train from Government Center to Park Street, but the Silver Line (see below) is a better bet.

The shiny new Silver Line began service to Logan airport in June 2005. The large, low-floor articulated bus stops at each terminal roughly every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. From the airport the bus travels through the occasionally-clogged Ted Williams Tunnel, and then through a dedicated bus tunnel to an underground stop at South Station. Convenient transfers are available to the Red Line, westbound/southbound commuter rail trains, and Amtrak trains. The fare is $1.25, exact change only.

Cabs are more expensive than in many other cities but because of the close distance of the airport city, the fare is not extremely expensive. It would be about $25 for fares to Boston, and less if you are staying downtown in the financial district.

Driving to Logan from the north, take the Callahan Tunnel; from the south or the west, take the Ted Williams Tunnel. Routes are well marked, and there is no toll in this direction. Driving from the airport to downtown Boston or to points north, including Interstate 93 northbound, take the Sumner Tunnel; for points south and west, including Interstate 93 southbound & Interstate 90, take the Ted Williams Tunnel. There is a $3 toll for either tunnel. Routes are well marked, but the airport road system is complex... read the signs carefully and be sure you're in the correct lane, or you may be forced to swerve across several lanes of traffic to catch an unexpected off-ramp.

General Aviation traffic is mostly served by Hanscom Field off Route 128/I-95 near Lexington and Burlington

By train
Amtrak arrives at South Station, which intersects with the MBTA Red Line. You can take the Amtrak Northeast Corridor or Acela Express from South Station all the way to Washington D.C. and beyond. Average Acela time from Boston to Philadelphia is about 5 hours, New York City in 3.5. Another popular Amtrak train is the Lake Shore Limited service between Boston and Chicago (requiring a layover in Albany). This isn't as high quality or high speed as the Acela, but at around $75, the price is right(note that in order to get the low-low fare, you have to purchase your ticket a few weeks in advance). All trains to South Station also stop at Back Bay Station, which is much smaller, but more convenient to Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End. It is on the Orange Line on the subway and most of the Commuter Rail lines that terminate at North Station. Amtrak also uses North Station at the Fleet Center for their Downeaster service to Haverhill, Peabody, and Maine.

Remember, Boston's North and South stations are NOT LINKED, and are over a mile from one another. In order to travel in between, hop on the Red Line subway at South Station and switch to the Orange Line to North Station. You could always take a cab, but the subway (known locally as the "T") is significantly cheaper.

If you have a first class Acela ticket, you may use the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge in South Station. it is historic and renovated. There is no lounge at Back Bay Station. You may use Quik Track machines to buy your ticket without standing in line, or to pick up tickets you have reserved online. Arriving by train has the advantage of putting you within easy reach of most downtown destinations by public transit.

By bus
  The Boston Deluxe, connecting Boston with New York and Hartford.
  The Fung Wah, connecting Boston's Chinatown neighborhood with New York's Chinatown.

Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus also serve many cities from South Station but are generally more expensive than the Chinatown buses, with Greyhound and PPB averaging $30 to New York. The Chinatown buses (AKA Dragon Buses) now use South Station also and serve Hartford, Connecticut and New York City. Fares are competitive, but not as low as they once were (Fung Wah was $10 each way, is now $15. Some significantly lower quality Chinatown buses average $12.50 one way). It is necessary to note that Fung Wah now departs and arrives South Station with the other buses

By car
Boston has two major highways entering it, I-93 and I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike, or "Mass Pike", or "Pike"). I-93 enters the city from the north and the south; the Pike enters Boston from the west. The Mass Pike is a toll road - expect to pay $1.00 to enter the city via the Pike, in addition to the tolls charged when arriving at the I-90 / I-95 interchange in Weston, just outside the city (variable based on distance traveled, max price is $3.60 if you drive all the way from the automatic ticket machines near the New York border). There are minor roads, of course, that enter Boston as well, including Route 9 (Old Worcester Turnpike), Route 2, and US 1. Another major highway, I-95 (also known as Route 128) encircles the Boston area.

There are many car rental places around Boston, but one of the most unique is Zipcar, an hourly car rental service. If you don't plan to do much driving, this may be an economical alternative to owning a car. If you want to use Zipcar, you should try signing up in advance. It is not instantaneous. Rental fees and taxes differ between Boston and Cambridge, but the rental agencies at Logan Airport (in East Boston) are still usually less expensive and have a greater fleet of cars available.

The Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) is a toll road, as is the Sumner Tunnel (coming from the airport only), the Ted Williams Tunnel, and the Tobin Bridge (southbound/from the North Shore only). If driving on a major highway during rush hour, do not be surprised to see cars driving in the breakdown lane on the shoulder. This is permitted in certain areas, at certain times, as indicated by signs along the road.

Adapted from WikiTravel under the Wiki License


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