How do BU students get around?

First years! Let’s talk about getting to, from, and around BU:

But first, a note about COVID-19’s impacts. Getting around is a little different with a pandemic going on.
– Please familiarize yourself with the CDC’s transportation guidance.
– On campus, you’ll notice that our shuttles are being disinfected regularly, require a face covering, discourage use of some seats to reduce crowding, and have dedicated doors for entry (front) and exit (rear).
– There are a number of precautions being taken by our local mass transit agency, bike share system, and transportation department as well.
– Due to the risks posed by sharing a confined space with others, we encourage walking and bicycling whenever possible.
– Non-essential travel is discouraged.


Boston’s tangle of transportation options are almost as dense and complicated as the city’s streets so you’ll want a solid transportation app in your pocket.

Terrier Transit is an app specifically designed to help the BU community get around.

It’s not just a shuttle app. Available for iOS and Android, Terrier Transit uses live data from BU’s shuttles, Boston’s subway and bus system, and bike share stations to help you decide whether your trip is best made on foot, by bike, by BU shuttle, by train, etc.

Terrier Transit an essential tool for getting around BU’s campuses and the Boston area.


Boston is a walking city and BU is a walking University.

Students know that walking between most destinations on the Charles River Campus usually takes under 20 minutes and so, for decades, the sidewalks of Commonwealth Avenue have been the domain of the BU student.

Those who don’t walk “Comm Ave” miss out on chance encounters, school events, and snowball fights.

Trivia: A higher percentage of Bostonians walk to work than residents of any other major US city. (source)


There is no faster way to get around the BU campus than on a bicycle. Thanks to new protected bike lanes on West Campus, riding a bike at BU is safer than ever.

Skateboards, Skates, and Scooters

Commonwealth Avenue has seen them all. We encourage fun, active means of transport as long as it’s safe (we’ve got free helmets and lights for you if you need them. Just email

Remember: sidewalks and pathways are primarily for people walking and using wheelchairs. Most wheeled devices should use the street and, if there is one, the bike lane. Some devices, like skateboards, are allowed on the sidewalk but only if they’re used at a pedestrian pace.

For information about motorized devices (including electric assist), please see “motorized conveyances,” below.



Four lines. Free rides. Day and night. Boston University operates its own transit service: the BUS (BU Shuttle). There’s no charge to ride the BUS. Just keep your BU ID handy because our drivers will sometimes ask for one. Want to know when the BUS is coming? Consult your Terrier Transit app.

Mass Transit

The BUS will get you across campus but “the T” will get you all over the Boston Metro area.



I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston you’re my home!* So goes the 1966 garage rock ode to the Charles River but much has changed since then. The Charles River is a lot cleaner and, living on BU’s Charles River Campus, you’ll have great access to it! The Charles River Basin is a perfect spot for a relaxing paddle or your first sailboat race.

The BU Sailing Pavilion hosts classes and rents kayaks, standup paddle boards, and sail boats.

Meanwhile, you’ll find some of the world’s best rowers training across the river at Boston University’s DeWolf Boathouse, home of BU’s rowing teams.

*the Los Angeles-based Standells had never step foot in the city before recording the song!


Motorized Conveyances


Due to limited parking availability and the wide range of transportation options available to those living on campus, BU does not issue parking permits to first year students. (You’re not missing much. Driving in Boston is slow, expensive, and stressful!)



No matter where you’re going, BU Parking & Transportation Services is your go-to source of mobility resources. Questions? Just ask!

Office: 1019 Commonwealth Ave
Phone: 617-353-2160