How to Get Around Boston on the Cheap

If you are headed to Beantown for business or pleasure, there are many way to get around Boston on the cheap. Although Boston calls itself "the walking city," it may be too cold a good portion of the year for extensive walking. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) offers many options for affordable public transit, including bus, subway and ferry. Here's how to get around Boston on the cheap.


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    See the sights on foot, weather permitting. The Freedom Trail is a walking tour of 16 historical sites relating to important colonial events.
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    Catch a bus for the low rate of $1.25 per ride with the CharlieCard, which is a rechargeable plastic card. For passengers with a ticket or who pay cash on board, the rate goes up to $1.50 per ride. A bus connection to or from the subway is included in the subway fare.
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    Hop aboard the MBTA subway, referred to as the T. There are five lines (red, orange, green, blue and silver) that serve Boston. With the CharlieCard, the fare is an affordable $1.70 per ride. If you use a ticket or pay cash on board the rate is $2 per ride. Monthly passes further reduce the cost: The Link Card is $59/month, but students and senior citizens pay only $20/month. Children under age 11 ride the T for free with an adult.
    • The red line stops near Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Children's Museum, Freedom Train and other destinations.
    • The orange and green lines have stops near the Museum of Science, Fenway Park, Freedom Train, Hynes Convention Center & Inst. of Contemporary Art and other destinations. Just the orange line stops near Symphony Hall.
    • The silver and blue lines stop near the New England Aquarium, which is near where the Inner Harbor Ferry departs, and at Logan Airport.
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    Take a passenger ferry across Boston Harbor. The Inner Harbor Ferry departs from Long Wharf and travels to Charlestown Navy Yard, which are the locations of the USS Constitution Museum. The ferry affords the best views of the city's skyline and the cost is a very affordable $1.70 per ride.
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    Hire a pedicab during the summer months. These bicycle-powered carts, which may seat up to 4 passengers, can take you where you want to go or through popular tourist areas.


  • Download the iPhone mobile app for real-time information about MBTA routes. The app costs $4. For other mobile devices, you can bookmark a simple & free MBTA schedule.
  • Bikes are permitted on the train and all subway lines except green during non-peak commute times.
  • Leashed dogs are permitted on the T during non-peak commute times. (Service animals are permitted at all times.) Dogs should not be near exits, annoy other riders or take a seat.


  • Don't attempt to drive in downtown Boston unless you are comfortable navigating through narrow cobblestone streets that were designed to only accommodate horse-drawn carts.

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Categories: Massachusetts | Reduce Travel Cost