Instructables
Picture of How to ride the T
One of the best ways to get to know Boston, and of course, to get around, is to ride ye olde T.

The MBTA, or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, controls the many forms of public Transport in the Boston area. There are trains, busses, and even boats, but the most reliable form of transport in Boston is also probably its most famed: the T, or, the Blue, Orange, Red, Silver, and Green lines.

For this instructable you will need:
Money to ride the T, $2.00 or under, depending on your method of payment, one way.

Riding the train is an item on the Neighbors Project Neighbors Checklist.

 
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Step 1: Make sure you've got fare.

Picture of Make sure you've got fare.
IMG_1410.jpg
There are three ways to pay on the T. At above-ground stops with no ticket machines, cash is accepted. At other stops, you will need to use a CharlieTicket, or add money to a CharlieCard. The CharlieTicket is paper, and while you can add money to it over and over again, it is not very durable. It's kind of intended to be a one-time use thing, for tourists or forgetful people who left their CharlieCard at home. CharlieCards look kind of like credit cards. You can get one at the larger train stations, such as Kenmore or South Station, for free. The CharlieCard will also save you money. It costs $1.70 to take the T one way with the Charlie Card, where as it is $2.00 with a Charlie Ticket or Cash.
Ha! I was just in Boston this last week and had a 7 day link pass and it was so useful! Probably would have been nice to read this beforehand tho! Would have saved me some time figuring everything out :)
We have something like that here. South Lake Union Trolleys. You may know it as The SLUT. http://www.ridetheslut.com/
emuman4evr6 years ago
In New York City we have Metro Cards.
and downtown and uptown, eastside and westside, and in Brooklyn, depending on where you are - going downtown means taking the uptown...
One thing they taught me in that bestest of cities was to never ever say northbound or southbound - say headed uptown or downtown. :D
In Ankara we have one-use cards which work for train as well as bus.
merseyless6 years ago
Australia has the go card... now to go train my ninja skills.
haha .. "train"
I'm just so "phunny"
caitlinsdad6 years ago
How do you navigate crossing the streets on the outside T stops, especially by Harvard? There are no rail crossing gates and it seemed more dangerous than a New York City street crossing the tracks and then walking on that thin strip of sidewalk to get to the train stop in the median of the street.
Are you in Boston?!
No, we were there for a short visit a while back and explored the neighborhood a bit. Interesting riding the T for the first time. Didn't know if you should only board at the front in the first car to pay the fare. It was crowded. The buses from NYC get you to Boston at warp speed though.
berniewalp6 years ago
See http://tinyurl.com/59qw4a - if you buy a bottle of pills at Target they might put in a "T" token. 'Course, I got mine in Pasadena, Calif. where I live, thus reducing the likelihood of ever getting to use it. But I'm going to use it next week!
Unless they don't accept those things any more.
I wish New Orleans had a subway
Something like Chicago's elevated system would probably be more practical given the lay of the land down there. :)
we have street cars but they dont go every where
wheeee it would be like the log ride at 6 flags
Motorat6 years ago
Totally enjoyed this one! Being stuck on the left coast for the last 25yrs I still have fond memories of my Medford to Cambridge commute 5 days a week back in the 70's. Do the cars still smell bad in the summer??
hay_jumper6 years ago
Woo! Boston! Yeah! To answer some comments: You're better off assuming the T shuts down at midnight, and planning for adequate transfer time when coming home from a night out. The bars close at 2, but the subway shuts down at 12:30. Makes sense to someone, but not me. Your best bet is to have access to cab fare as a last resort. Long gone are the days of free outbound fares. Used to be you could ride the E line from Symphony to Heath gratis. Not so anymore. But on the upside, with the newer card systems, most of the "helpful" employee kiosks are usually empty, and one could hop the gate or follow another fare-payer through. I'm not recommending this, but someone piggybacked on me at South Station last weekend and suffered no ill consequences. Maybe I'm dating myself, but I miss the days of a $0.60 bus ride. Your best bet is to get a bike and learn your way around. Recently my gf and I left a bar in Allston together headed to JP, she on the T, me on my ride. Her time: 1hour 40 minutes. Mine: 14 minutes. Good 'ible, nevertheless. Brigham Circle has been on the up and up.
keimel6 years ago
It's be nice to explain a little more about inbound and outbound, since, really, that's the harder part of riding a subway. I mean, knowing that you have to pay for the fare and that you shouldn't fall over are important steps, but... well... kinda normal. those kinds of things would do well in a 'riding A subway'.

Perhaps some descriptions of where some of the lines go, a pointer to a Boston notebook, http://www.moleskineus.com/moleskine-boston-citybook.html , and some explanation of inbound outbound would make this instructable more useful than just a generic subway rider note.

*shrug*
bob.smitty6 years ago
Love it! Could apply to NYC too... just add weapons and you're there! (JK)
DamnAvacado6 years ago
Very nice guide, . Is there actually an official guideline for when the T stops running? It seems like it varies a lot, but I could be wrong. Maybe you could add an "advanced riding" guide covering how to ride for free from above-ground stops (getting in from the back doors if the driver open them) and the best way to pack yourself in to a stuffed traincar.
supersith226 years ago
Wow i just got back from a trip to Boston to visit my brother, he explained the whole subway thing. this would've come in handy. i could have looked smart =P
nice ible
bustedit6 years ago
very nice. whats your favorite stop??
Notbob6 years ago
Nice instructable.

Your so lucky, your subway map(step 2) is so much simpler than the London tube system.http://www.uktravelbureau.com/images/tube_map.gif
Calorie Notbob6 years ago
The absolute worse is the Bus routes in York. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the lack of bus maps. We do have buses, but there is no discernible way to tell you where they are going. You eventually have to memorize the whole damned city, or just one route. There's a time table and that's it. No map, no symbolic map (like in the T or the Tubes.) Just typed letters for small streets. Also, the buses have transitioned to where one cannot speak to the drivers! You can't ask them a simple question. They are behind a very dark plastic glass. They might as well be robots. The final irritant is that you pay for the buses as they move, in a coin machine. I promise you that trying to shove coins in a quickly changing bus is not fun. And the OAPs, God Bless them, have a very hard time with it.