Boston

Table of Contents

Overview - Boston

Boston Banner

Located on the Charles River as it empties into Massachusetts Bay, Boston is the capital of and the largest city by population in Massachusetts. It has approximately 694,500 inhabitants in the city proper as of 2018. The Boston metropolitan area (Boston-Cambridge-Newton) comprised 4,875,390 residents as of the 2018 US Census Bureau Estimate.


Boston's rapid transit network consists of three heavy rail rapid transit lines, a light rail trunk line with four western branches, and a standalone light rail line. It also has two arterial bus rapid transit trunk lines as well as 12 commuter rail lines serving two railway stations.

MBTA Subway

Opened 1897, the MBTA Subway network consists of three heavy rail rapid transit lines, a subway-surface light rail line with four western branches, and a standalone light rail line that serve the city of Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding suburbs.

Red Line

The Red Line of the MBTA Subway is a 36.2 km rapid transit line on a Northwest-Southeast alignment. It runs from Alewife in the northwest to Ashmont and Braintree in the southeast via downtown Boston, serving 22 stations.


The Red Line was opened in March 1912 and the last extension to the line was the extension to Alewife in December 1984. The Red Line is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
Red (Braintree Branch)12-14'9'14'15'
Red (Ashmont Branch)12-14'9'14'15'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Blue Line

The Blue Line of the MBTA Subway is a 9.7 km rapid transit line on a Northeast-Southwest alignment. It runs from Wonderland in the northeast to Bowdoin in the southwest in downtown Boston, serving 12 stations.


The Blue Line was opened in 1904 and began running in its current form in 1924 after being converted to rapid transit. The last extension to the line was the extension to Wonderland in 1954. The Blue Line is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
Blue9'5'9'9-13'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Orange Line

The Orange Line of the MBTA Subway is a 18 km rapid transit line on a North-South alignment. It runs from Oak Grove in the north to Forest Hills in the south via downtown Boston, serving 20 stations. It parallels commuter rail lines for most of its length.


The Orange Line was opened in 1901 and began running in its current form in 1987 after the southern half of the line was rerouted underground. The last extension to the line was the opening of Assembly station in September 2014. The Orange Line is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
Orange8-9'6'9-11'11-13'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Green Line

The Green Line of the MBTA Subway is a 37 km subway-surface light rail line on an East-West alignment. It runs from Lechmere and stations in Downtown Boston in the east to Boston College, Cleveland Circle, Riverside, and Heath Street in the west, serving 66 stations on its four western branches. It runs underground from Kenmore and Symphony to North Station.


The Green Line was opened in 1897 as the first underground rapid transit tunnel in the United States of America. The last major change to the line was the rerouting of the Causeway Street Elevated underground in 2004. The Green Line is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
B7-8'6'7-11'7-12'
C7-9'6-7'8-10'9-12'
D8'6'8-13'11-13'
E8-9'6-7'9-11'12'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line

The Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line/Mattapan Trolley of the MBTA Subway is a 4 km light rail line on an East-West alignment. It runs from Mattapan in the west to Ashmont in the east, serving 8 stations.


The Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line was opened in 1929. The Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line is owned and operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
Mattapan8-12'5'12-26'12-26'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

MBTA Bus Rapid Transit

Opened 2012, the MBTA Bus Rapid Transit network consists of two arterial bus rapid transit corridors that serve the city of Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding suburbs.

Silver Line - Waterfront

The Waterfront Line (SL1, SL2, SL3) of the MBTA Subway is an arterial bus rapid transit trunk line on an East-West alignment. It runs from South Station to Logan Airport (SL1), Design Center (SL2), and Chelsea (SL3), serving 21 stops. From South Station to Silver Line Way, the line runs underground in a busway. In Chelsea, the line runs in a busway as well.


The Waterfront Line was opened in December 2004 and the last extension to the line was the extension to Chelsea in April 2018. The Waterfront Line is operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
SL19-10'10'10-11'8-12'
SL28-12'5'15'15'
SL312-15'13-14'10-12'13-15'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Silver Line - Washington St

The Washington St Line (SL4, SL5) of the MBTA Subway is an arterial bus rapid transit trunk line on a North-South alignment along Washington St. It runs from Nubian Square in the south to South Station and Downtown Crossing in the north.


The Washington St Line was opened in July 2002 and the last extension to the line was the start of SL4 service in October 2009. The Washington St Line is operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.


Headways
ServiceM-F MiddayM-F RushSat.Sun.Notes
SL411-14'11-14'15-16'15-16'
SL58-10'8-10'8-9'9-10'

Schedules -- Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020

MBTA Commuter Rail

Having started operation in 1964, the MBTA Commuter Rail network consists of 12 commuter rail lines radiating out of Boston that serve the city of Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding suburbs. All services funnel into Boston's North and South stations.

Newburyport/Rockport Line

The Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a commuter rail line on a northeast-southwest alignment. It runs from North Station in the southwest to Newburyport and Rockport in the northeast, serving 19 stations.


The Newburyport/Rockport Line was acquired by the MBTA in the 1970s. The Newburyport/Rockport Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Haverhill Line

The Haverhill Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 53 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from North Station in the south to Reading and Haverhill in the north, serving 14 stations. There is a platform at Oak Grove that is only used during service disruptions. Some trains use the Wildcat Branch from Ballardvale to Wilmington on the Lowell Line.


The Haverhill Line was acquired by the MBTA in September 1973. The Haverhill Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Lowell Line

The Lowell Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 40.9 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from North Station in the south to Lowell in the north, serving 9 stations. Some trains use the Wildcat Branch from Wilmington to Ballardvale on the Haverhill Line.


The Lowell Line was acquired by the MBTA in September 1973. The Lowell Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Fitchburg Line

The Fitchburg Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is an 87 km commuter rail line on an east-west alignment. It runs from North Station in the east to Fitchburg and Wachusett in the west, serving 19 stations.


The Fitchburg Line was acquired by the MBTA in December 1976. The latest expansion to the line was the extension to Wachusett in November 2016. The Fitchburg Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Framingham/Worcester Line

The Framingham/Worcester Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 71.3 km commuter rail line on an east-west alignment. It runs from South Station in the east to Framingham and Worcester in the west, serving 17 stations.


The Framingham/Worcester Line was acquired by the MBTA in December 1973. The latest expansion to the line was the opening of Boston Landing in May 2017. The Framingham/Worcester Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Needham Line

The Needham Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 15 km commuter rail line on a southwest-northeast alignment. It runs from South Station in the northeast to Needham in the southwest, serving 12 stations.


The Needham Line was acquired by the MBTA in January 1973. The Needham Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Fairmount Line

The Fairmount Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 14.8 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Readville in the south with limited through service to the Franklin Line, serving 9 stations.


The Fairmount Line began operation in its current form in November 1987. The latest expansion to the line was the opening of Blue Hill Avenue station in February 2019. The Fairmount Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Franklin Line

The Franklin Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 44.1 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Forge Park/495 and Foxboro in the south, serving 16 stations in addition to Foxboro. Limited services travel via the Fairmount Line from Readville to South Station


The Franklin Line was acquired by the MBTA in January 1973. The Franklin Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Providence/Stoughton Line

The Providence/Stoughton Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Stoughton, Providence, and Wickford Junction in the south, serving 15 stations. It runs along the Northeast Corridor.


The Providence/Stoughton Line was acquired by the MBTA in January 1973. The latest expansion to the line was the extension to Wickford Junction in April 2012. The Providence/Stoughton Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Amtrak.

Middleborough/Lakeville Line

The Middleborough/Lakeville Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 57.3 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Middleborough/Lakeville in the south, serving 10 stations. It shares much of its track with the Kingston/Plymouth Line and the two are considered the Old Colony Lines.


The Middleborough/Lakeville Line was reopened in September 1997. The Middleborough/Lakeville Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Kingston/Plymouth Line

The Kingston/Plymouth Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 55.6 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Kingston and Plymouth in the south, serving 11 stations. It shares much of its track with the Middleborough/Lakeville Line and the two are considered the Old Colony Lines.


The Kingston/Plymouth Line was reopened in September 1997. The Kingston/Plymouth Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Greenbush Line

The Greenbush Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail network is a 44.4 km commuter rail line on a north-south alignment. It runs from South Station in the north to Greenbush in the south, serving 10 stations. While formerly part of the Old Colony Lines, it was restored separately.


The Greenbush Line was reopened in October 2007. The Greenbush Line is owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

References & Helpful Links

MBTA Subway at Wikipedia

MBTA Silver Line at Wikipedia

MBTA Commuter Rail at Wikipedia

Official Website for MBTA: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority


Maps

All Official Maps - MBTA [Last Accessed Jan 14, 2020]

Official System Map - MBTA Subway [PDF] [Last Accessed Jul 27, 2020]

Official System Map - MBTA Commuter Rail [PDF] [Last Accessed Jul 27, 2020]


Unofficial Map - Boston [July 2019] by Jug Cerovic (www.inat.fr)

Unofficial Map - Boston [2012] by Cameron Booth (www.transitmap.net)

Unofficial Map - Boston [Oct 2014] by Maxwell Roberts (www.transitmap.net)


2013 MBTA "New Perspectives" Map Design Challenge Submissions

Unofficial Map - MBTA [2012] by Michael Kvrivishvili (www.transitmap.net)

Unofficial Map - MBTA [2012] by Kerim Bayer (www.transitmap.net)

Unofficial Map - MBTA [2012] by Dave Ortega (www.transitmap.net)


Other Sources

Boston, USA at Urbanrail.net

Asset Notes

MBTA line colors taken from official MBTA Design Standards guidelines.