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)
Winter Packing List
- winter boots
- wool socks
- a warm coat
- gloves or mittens
Layered clothing helps keep you comfortable throughout the day as you go back and forth from outside (cold!) to inside (warm!).
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” -A.Wainwright
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.
- 1-credit “Urban Bicycling” class
- bicycle registration stickers
- secure bike parking
- discounted Bluebikes memberships
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need:
- free front (white) and rear (red) lights
- a free helmet
- a free bell
Avoiding Bicycle Theft
For added security, we encourage you to use secure bike rooms when you are on campus. Your residence might have a bike room but if it doesn’t there’s probably one nearby. Once you have registered your bike, you’ll be able to apply for card access to secure bike rooms. Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
No bike, no problem!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.).
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.
Charles River – Medical Campus (“1BU”)
Running Monday-Saturday, this line connects the Charles River Campus (CRC) with the Medical Campus (BUMC) with multiple stops along Commonwealth Ave.
Running during busy hours on weekdays, this line runs up and down Commonwealth Avenue
Running on weekdays, this line connects the Fenway Campus with the Charles River Central Campus
Running until 2 or 4 AM depending on the day, this line serves the Charles River Campus (including the Fenway Campus) nightly
How do I know when it's coming?
- Check out the “Live View” on the BUS website for live arrival times, line information, and schedules.
- iOS users can download the BU Mobile App, which has a BUS module showing live arrival times.
Can I take my _______ on the BUS?
- Can I take my wheelchair or mobility device on the BUS? YES
- Can I take my service animal on the BUS? YES
- Can I take my dog/parakeet/miniature pony on the bus? NOPE (sorry!)
- Can I take my cello/skis/large plant on the BUS? YES…but please respect other riders and avoid busy times if possible
- Can I take a friend on the BUS? YES (but only if they’re with you)
- Can I take my bicycle on the BUS? YES (there are two racks on the front of each bus)
The BUS will get you across campus but “the T” will get you all over the Boston Metro area.
5 things you should know about the T
- Boston is home to North America’s oldest subway system…except we don’t call it “the subway.” Locals call Boston’s subway and the organization that operates it “The T” — short for MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority).
- The MBTA also operates buses, commuter rail trains, and ferries (but folks don’t usually call those “the T”).
- The name of the MBTA’s fare card — the “Charlie Card” — is a reference to a song written in 1948 to protest a fare hike
- The “B” spur of the Green Line runs right through the middle of campus
- Even though this spur has six stops on the BU campus, the last stop is at Boston College so Westbound trains are called “Boston College” trains. Not fair!
5 national firsts you can visit on the T
The nation’s first subway is a great way to visit these other national “firsts:”
- First City Park (Boston Common) – Green/Red to Park Street
- First Chocolate Factory (Baker Chocolate) – Mattapan Trolley to Milton
- First College (Harvard University) – Red to Harvard
- First Public Arboretum (The Arnold Arboretum) – Orange to Forest Hills
- First Public Beach (Revere Beach) – Blue to Revere Beach
Charlie Card? Semester Pass?
More info at mbta.com/fares
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!
Electric-assist Bicycles, Scooters, and Skateboards
Remember: sidewalks and pathways are primarily for people walking and using wheelchairs. Be respectful and obey the local traffic laws that apply to your device.
Need a free helmet or lights? Email email@example.com!
Gas Mopeds and Scooters
Motorcycles and Scooters over 50cc
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!)
Cars by the Hour
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