MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

If you're new to the city or taking the T in from out of town, this is where you can get advice from people living in The Hub. Please keep discussion limited to things in and around Boston.
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Kashimalin
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MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Kashimalin »

Happy 2023 everyone! I am so excited for AB this year and hope you are too!

This topic is for people to ask questions about taking the "T" (MBTA) in Boston or to share their tips.

My experience: I take the train and bus on a daily basis and have been virtually everywhere on the train lines (save for several commuter rails.) However, I am learning more every day and value any extra info and feedback you can provide on the thread!

UPDATES TO THE T FOR 2023:
  • Masks are currently optional on the MBTA. Please know it is highly recommended to wear a mask.
  • The Green Line construction is complete and goes all the way out to Medford/Tufts. Just in case you want to travel out or use it to get into town!
  • A friendly reminder if you didn't come to AB last year: they have updated tickets and ticket machines. Please check that your card is not expired. When you buy a new ticket, make sure to use the CIRCULAR tap pads on the fare gates, as those can read the new cards. (Noted by Elli last year, if you have a grey strip, it's a new card!)
  • Last, but not least: There are fancy new fare gates at NORTH STATION. If you are coming in via the commuter rail to North Station for AB, there are ticket fare gates for entering/exiting. They can read Charlie cards, tickets, and mTicket (MBTA Mobile App) tickets.
If you are going to use a card or mTicket, these are easy - just tap! You will need to make sure you have a "Zone #" ticket loaded on your card from a machine or phone to board - it does NOT deduct stored value.
For tickets, it is the same concept - buy a single, round trip, or monthly Ticket, tap it (grey stripe) or swipe (black). Stored value is not accepted.

All that newfangled stuff outta the way? Good! Now, some tips about getting TO the Hynes from your T station of choice:

For the Green line: You can get off at the Hynes stop (B, C, D trains), ascend the stairs, and walk out to the exit. You should see construction in front of you. Turn left and cross the bridge toward Berklee College of Music. Once you hit the crosswalk, you can look left and you will see the Hynes and Prudential buildings. Walk in that direction until you are at the Hynes Entrance.

OR, the indoor-only method: Take the E to "Prudential." It's a whole walk indoors through a nice mall, instead of a walk outside along a major road with a big road crossing involved. When you step through the fare gates to exit, go left. Go up the escalator and through the door. Turn right, go up that escalator. Then, you can either follow the stream of cosplayers, or if you want directions: walk all the way down this corridor until you are in a bit of a "four way" foyer space. Take the left exit (where you see a "Shake Shack" at the other end.) Walk down there and you will find the Prudential Hynes Entrance.

For the orange line, some lovely people last year have given their guidance for how to get to AB.

If you took the Orange Line Train In: When you get off at Back Bay station, there are some exit gates behind the stairs. Through these, you can go through a tunnel under Dartmouth Street to get to the Copley Place Mall. Walk up the stairs to the ground level, then take the Elescalator to the 3rd floor of Copley Place. You then walk through the mall towards the Mariott, taking an escalator down to the second floor, and then to the Skybridge into the Prudential. (This spits you out near the CVS.)

Through there, walk through the corridor until you come to a "four way" foyer. Take the exit "straight ahead" (where you see a "Shake Shack" at the other end.) Walk down there and you will find the Prudential Hynes Entrance.


If you took the Commuter Rail/Purple Line Train In To Back Bay: You can either locate the stairs that take you down to the tunnel and behind the fare gates, or step outside for a bit to cross Dartmouth Street and walk into the Copley Place Mall. All indoors from there!

Thank you @PatrickD, @Elli21486, and @Shirley Dulcey from last year for helping make this post a better resource!

MBTA-ers, add on your tips about close to transit hotels, last-train out advice, and such, and those with questions: ask away! :D (especially if I forgot something from last year's thread).
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Anna-neko »

i just have one lil note - Prudential stop does have an elevator!! From the platform!!

It's well hidden, and most people don't realize it's even there.... don't be draggin that heavy suitcase up the stairs. You wanna look for the elevator closer to the "head" of the train when you get off it
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Kashimalin »

Agreed! It does have an elevator. There's a little ramp to look for but please value yourselves and take the elevator if you get off at the Prudential stop.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Elli21486 »

2 notes from me, one of them I am not sure...

Note 1: If you have not done so, download the Transit App from the Apple Store or Google Play. It has real-time data on the current MBTA system. It will also alert you if something is up, such as busses being rerouted or elevators not working.

Note 2: I am not entirely sure but I believe at the new Green Line stops (North of North Station), you will need to pay at the kiosk rather than on the train itself. The kiosk will then print a receipt and that has to be shown to an attendant. I had to do that at Union Square station.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Penti »

If you're looking for a hotel close to the T, and don't mind a bit of a commute into the Hynes each day, the Springhill Suites on Revere Beach is a fairly new option; opening up in 2021. I haven't stayed here yet (It's where I have booked for this year), but it is a less than 5-minute walk from Wonderland station on the Blue Line, making it very convenient.

If you decide to stay here (Or otherwise ride in from Wonderland) and aren't familiar with the area, the easiest route to get to the Hynes from here is to ride to Government Center, and then transfer to the Green Line; I personally prefer to ride the E train to Prudential, although those can get pretty crowded during peak hours. You can also get off at State, and transfer to the Orange Line and ride to Back Bay.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Ariandante »

Elli21486 wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:54 pm Note 2: I am not entirely sure but I believe at the new Green Line stops (North of North Station), you will need to pay at the kiosk rather than on the train itself. The kiosk will then print a receipt and that has to be shown to an attendant. I had to do that at Union Square station.
Correct, anything north/west of North Station is "proof of payment", you can't pay on boarding like you would on the bus or other street level sections of the green line. Right now they check everybody but eventually it'll switch to an honor system with random spot checks and big fines if you get caught without a valid ticket or pass - kind of like what they do in San Francisco, Portland, and a lot of German metro systems.

Rumor has it those all above ground sections of the green line will be going POP in the next year or two ... it really does speed things up and if you've been following the news about "slow zones" and how joggers can easily beat the trolleys in some areas, the T needs all the help it can get :lol:
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Kashimalin »

Ariandante wrote: Fri Feb 24, 2023 3:45 pm
Elli21486 wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:54 pm Note 2: I am not entirely sure but I believe at the new Green Line stops (North of North Station), you will need to pay at the kiosk rather than on the train itself. The kiosk will then print a receipt and that has to be shown to an attendant. I had to do that at Union Square station.
Correct, anything north/west of North Station is "proof of payment", you can't pay on boarding like you would on the bus or other street level sections of the green line. Right now they check everybody but eventually it'll switch to an honor system with random spot checks and big fines if you get caught without a valid ticket or pass - kind of like what they do in San Francisco, Portland, and a lot of German metro systems.

Rumor has it those all above ground sections of the green line will be going POP in the next year or two ... it really does speed things up and if you've been following the news about "slow zones" and how joggers can easily beat the trolleys in some areas, the T needs all the help it can get :lol:
Yes, this is definitely true! Though I will say, they are less strict about checking tickets in the midday.... I've not had mine checked when I go, but please be nice and use the honor system! (Our T needs it!)

I'll add everyone's comments above tomorrow, the Transit App and this description are really good points to include that I forgot about!
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Elli21486 »

Oh, I should mention... Boston has a unique way of direction on the subway system, Inbound and Outbound. The key thing to remember about this is that Inbound and Outbound is determined by the main hubs in downtown Boston. The four stations that signify this is Government Center, Park St, Downtown Crossing, and State St.

Example:
You are traveling from Wellington Station to Back Bay Station (Orange Line), you will want to go on the Inbound train. Another passenger is going from Chinatown to Back Bay Station (Orange Line), they will want to go on the Outbound train. Both trains are going the same direction but one passenger is initially traveling to downtown Boston and the other is traveling away from downtown Boston.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Elli21486 »

Penti wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 7:36 pm If you're looking for a hotel close to the T, and don't mind a bit of a commute into the Hynes each day, the Springhill Suites on Revere Beach is a fairly new option; opening up in 2021. I haven't stayed here yet (It's where I have booked for this year), but it is a less than 5-minute walk from Wonderland station on the Blue Line, making it very convenient.

If you decide to stay here (Or otherwise ride in from Wonderland) and aren't familiar with the area, the easiest route to get to the Hynes from here is to ride to Government Center, and then transfer to the Green Line; I personally prefer to ride the E train to Prudential, although those can get pretty crowded during peak hours. You can also get off at State, and transfer to the Orange Line and ride to Back Bay.
Also worth mentioning about Wonderland Station is that it has a parking garage so those driving in can park their cars there and take the subway in.

Edit:
Forgot to mention but the hotel there also has a Starbucks.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Sayoria »

I think at this point, bringing your own fire extinguisher is probably advised. The MBTA is just an absolute mess lately, sadly.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Elli21486 »

Wanted to give this little update.

As the MBTA Medford/Tufts section is new, some of the current maps are unreliable. For this case, I would suggest OSM (Open Street Map). They currently have the entrances to the new stops.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Beagall »

Heads up that there will be suspensions/shuttle buses on the Orange and Green Lines on Saturday of AB.

https://www.mbta.com/alerts/subway

"Orange Line service suspended between North Station and Back Bay on Saturday, April 8, for work at the Government Center Garage. Passengers can use the Green Line between Government Ctr and Copley. "

"Shuttle buses replace Green Line service between North Station and Government Center on Saturday, April 8 for demolition work at the Government Center Garage. "

Here's a diagram from the MBTA for a similar closure a few weeks ago:

Image
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by waynoinsano »

Where I usually park has alerts next weekend and with transfers would take 1.5 hours instead of the usual 35-40 mins. I was looking at Riverside station on the green to park. Anyone heard an good/bad news about the lot. Break-ins etc.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by DrSteggy »

Hi, I’m coming to my first AB this year and my hotel appears to be right on the green line for the Hynes Center. I’m familiar with using public transportation in NYC but- is everything on an app or do I need a physical ticket? Are their multiple pass deals available?

I’m pretty excited to learn this as it really just made my life a ton easier lol.
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Re: MBTA 2023: Taking Public Transit in Boston

Post by Kanechan »

You can use the mTicket app, or purchase a CharlieTicket from a fare vending machine at any station; multi-ride passes are also available. Check out the T website at https://www.mbta.com/fares for more info.
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