Boston has a compact downtown area, making it easy to get around by foot or via public transportation. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (more commonly known as the MBTA, or “T”) maintains the public transportation system in Boston. This system of underground trains (subway), buses, and trolleys allows you to travel easily all over the city and suburbs. Owning a car and paying for mandatory auto insurance can be expensive, and parking in Boston is difficult, so most students do not have a car on campus.


MBTA Green Line trainMBTA stations are marked by signs with a large letter “T.” The major subway lines are the Green, Red, Blue, and Orange lines. The fare for a single ride is generally $2.65 and is paid by purchasing a “Charlie Ticket” at a vending machine inside a T station. Cash (exact change) can be used at above ground stations when boarding the train. A plastic “Charlie Card” can be obtained at a number of stations that will allow you to store value and board the T for a reduced fare ($2.10). There is no fee to switch between subway lines.


MBTA busThe subways and trolleys connect at many points with MBTA buses. The fare for a single ride is $2.10 ($1.60 if using a Charlie Card) and is paid by purchasing a “Charlie Ticket” at a vending machine inside a T station or by cash (exact change) when boarding the bus.

Day/Week/Monthly Passes

Passes can be purchased for the buses, subway, or a combination of the two. Additionally, Boston University students are eligible to buy discount passes through BU Parking & Transportation Services.

The BU Bus

Boston University offers a free bus shuttle down Commonwealth Avenue between the Charles River Campus and the BU Medical Center Campus. The shuttle offers service during weekdays and the weekend. Get more information on the BU Bus schedule.