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How to use the Boston Subway

Life in Massachusetts - February 21, 2019

Moving to a new city often means turning a new page in your life. This can especially be true in a city as big as Boston. There are so many things to see and do here after you are done unpacking with ease! There are also many people you can meet and so many places to visit. However, in order to do this, you will need to figure out how to get there. Getting to places in Boston, or any big city for that matter might be a problem at first. This is because you need to learn how to deal with the Boston Subway. Riding the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) is probably the most efficient way to move across the city, but it will take some getting used to. Luckily, in this article, we are giving you the tools you need to do it with ease!

Differentiate the colors

One of the first things to do after moving is to get the map of Boston subway and study it well. You need to learn what the different lines are, what their colors are and where they can take you. There are a gray, blue, red, green and yellow lines – though the gray one is an articulated bus instead of an underground train.

A subway map - board game.
Learn the rules of the subway.

You should also figure out where these different lines have intersections. This will be useful when you need to switch from one line to another. There are also various other lines that come and go from Boston, which commuters use. Buses also go about the city as well as to the other cities, and they have connections to the subway too. You can find all of these on MBTA’s website.

A thing to also take note of is the green line and its forks. It splits out into four different directions – B, C, D, and E. You can take B to Boston College in Brighton (and remember it thanks to all those B-s) and C to Cleveland Circle in Brighton. D line will take you to Riverside in Newton while E goes to Heath Street in Boston.

Figure out the difference between inbound and outbound

After you have a grasp of the lines of the Boston subway, it’s time to figure out the terms we use. You need to know the difference between inbound and outbound – professional Boston movers say so. This may seem easy enough (and it is at some stations), but it can be pretty hard at the others. Inbound, in most cases, will mean the trains going towards Boston – or going towards the metro Boston. On the other hand, outbound means going out of it. These two will take you in different directions, and you will find their accesses across the street in most cases. Knowing which is which will make a difference between reaching your stop and going into a totally opposite part of the city.

A direction arrow.
Figure out the direction to take.

What did we mean by easy and hard to differentiate stations? Well, let’s say you are taking the green line from Riverside to Lechmere. You will, of course, take the inbound train – pretty simple, right? Things will get more complicated when you are in the downtown stations. For example, the Red Line will switch from inbound to outbound at the Downtown Crossing no matter which way you are heading. This may cause you to scratch your head in confusion from time to time. Use the subway often and you will get used to it.

How to get into the Boston subway

Now that you know how the subway works, it’s time to learn how to get into it in the first place. You will, of course, need to get a Charlie Ticket card. Depending on which machine is nearby – this can be done with cash or card. However, keep in mind that some machines will only take your debit and credit cards – and will refuse to take money. You can get your card by pressing the “Bus/Subway” option and completing a couple of questions about the number of tickets. The machine will then print out your ticket and a receipt if you want one.

Then, you need to approach the door machine that has arrows pointing up. You put the Charlie Card at the front of the reader and wait for the lights to change. The doors will open and you can then go to your line. A thing that reliable movers Massachusetts will tell you to beware are the people who will try to cheat the system and get in the subway by sliding through the doors right behind you. Watch out for them!

Board the train

The final job you need to do might be easier than calling piano movers Massachusetts! First, wait for the train at least 4-5 feet away from the rails. This is for your personal safety! Do not approach the train until it has stopped entirely! Then, let the people go out of the train before entering it. Trust us, pushing around is never worth it.

A train passing by in Boston subway.
Wait until the train stops!

After that, you either take a seat or walk into the train. Make sure you are not standing in the doorway – be considerate about people behind you. They also want to ride the Boston subway, and you should let them do it freely. There is an intercom or a machine that will announce the upcoming stations, so follow that and exit the train when it stops fully. After that, you either catch the other connection or just walk out of the subway in a similar manner you came in.

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