Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, stretches for nearly 90 square miles. Only around 50 square miles of that is land and the rest is water. The high population density can make it fairly difficult to traverse in your own vehicle. But you certainly don’t want to find yourself walking from one end to another. That’s why there are various forms of public transportation in the area. Each has some unique advantage that makes it worth considering.

The various forms of public transportation are managed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority(MBTA). In 2014, the MBTA broke a new record with a total of 400.8 million trips made using their services throughout the year. That makes up an impressive portion of the 10.8 trips made using public transportation in the country that year. Here are the most popular forms of public transit in the area.

Bus Services

During most days of the week, you can catch a bus in Boston, Massachusetts as late as 1:00 AM and as late as 2:30 AM on the weekends. The city has put a lot of work into creating an efficient and extremely affordable bus service. Most buses stop every 15 or 20 minutes along their routes. That makes it fairly easy to find a bus no matter where you are and to find a stop near your destination.

All of the bus routes in Boston make connections between MBTA bus services as well as the MBTA subway and the commuter rail. This makes it possible to ride the bus for part of the way and then to switch to another form of public transit that may be more convenient.

MBTA Subway

The MBTA subway is commonly referred to as the “T”. This is because the subway uses four color-coded railway lines. The four colors are red, orange, blue, and green. The red, blue, and orange lines make up the heavy rail rapid transit lines. The green line is part of the light rail line. There is also the Ashmont-Mattapan High-Speed Line, which is a part of the light rail line and is designated as a part of the red color line.

The subway lines are designed so that the that they cross in the downtown area and form a quadrilateral. The orange heavy line and the green light rail line run parallel in the downtown area and connect to additional stations in the north. The aforementioned bus services include regular stops at entrances to the subway lines.

Other Forms Of Public Transit

There are a few additional forms of public transit managed by the MBTA. They are the commuter rail and the ferry. Both of these run on strict schedules and have fewer stops, but they are still very commonly utilized. You can use any combination of these services to get anywhere you need to be in Boston.