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.
Step 1: Make Sure You've Got Fare.
Step 2: Research Schedules and Rails.
Be aware that you pretty much have to pass through downtown to get from one end of town to another if you use the T, particularly if you have to connect. The T-maps are NOT to scale! You may be able to get there faster by taking a cross town bus or biking part or all of the way.
Get acquainted with where trains go and at what times, or just use this trip planner. Look at where lines intersect (such as, you can switch from the red to green line at Park Street.) Since trains come every ten minutes at most, it would be silly to look up arrival departure times for trains. However, you should know when the trains start running in the morning and stop running at night to plan your trip. This is REALLY important if you're heading out for the night and may be decidedly less sober in a few hours, and therefore ill equipped to do any research. If all you have is cash, make sure you can use cash at your stop. Finally, the MBTA offers a T-alert system, which sends you notifications about delays of 15 minutes or more on your usual route.
Step 3: Wait for the Train.
OK, once you've double checked that you're waiting in the right place, this part's easy. Sit or stand and wait for the T. Try to get there on time, it will save you some stress and you'll feel more organized if you're the first one standing in line when the doors open up.
Boston is, as we all know, student central. So this is usually a good chance to watch sort of adults making total asses of themselves in public. Or maybe that's you?
Step 4: Get On.
Savvy riders position themselves in the train so that they're closest to their exit when they get off.
Step 5: Ride.
If you're standing, you will betray yourself as a rube fresh off the turnip truck if you do the whole falling over when the train starts moving thing. Even if you weren't a physics major, you should be able to figure out how to position your feet and body so that you will absorb the motion of the train once it starts moving or needs to jerk around. Long-time riders have the ninja skills to ride without holding on to anything, but it's best for you to grab on to a pole if you're standing. Obviously, mind your hands if you're sharing the pole; no one wants to feel you, no matter how much Sephora you wear.
If you need to switch lines to get to where you're going, do so, being on the lookout again for the whole "inbound" "outbound" trick. Keep listening to your music, but don't get invasive by singing along or something - the other passengers won't like it. You could also read a book or the newspaper, whatever you like to occupy yourself with. Just don't get too distracted and forget to get off at your stop. Or fall asleep, which can be extremely tempting.
During the week day rush hours, you'll quickly discover that silence is the norm. During other times, particularly at night and weekends, it's much more acceptable to chat with your friends along with you. Just be mindful that your fellow passengers may as well be wearing t-shirts that say, "I am silently judging you."
If the T is at all crowded, please, please take off your backpack/messenger bag/purse/rucksack/etc and place it between your feet or hanging in front of you. People who wear bags that intrude and knock other people are fair game for heckling and dirty, dirty looks from their fellow passengers.
Finally, please, please, please do not ever pretend to pole dance or encourage your friends to pole dance on the T pole. The lighting on the T makes you look incredibly unsexy. Again, "I am silently judging you."
Step 6: Get Off.
Now that you've arrived, make sure that the trains run late enough for you to get back, and consider the fare home. As in, don't spend your ride money on a beer.