Car traffic

Boston by car? Better not. If you managed to get in, you should park your car and use the subway for the rest of your stay. Especially those who drive into the touristically interesting areas will see more of a curse than a blessing in the car. Especially during rush hour, the cars are more stationary than driving. Not driving is therefore always the recommended alternative, because Boston is one of the US cities where it is best to run or cycle. In addition, driving in the city can be very irritating with the many one-way streets, narrow streets and construction sites. In contrast to the very ordered and geographically easy to navigate streets of most other US American cities, the system in Boston is very confusing and difficult to develop. A rather aggressive driving style of the Bostonians and the bad signage add the rest. Street names are repeated in the different parts of the city, which makes everything even more difficult. And even Bostonians, who have lived in the city their entire lives, sometimes fail to see through. And the parking spaces? They are rare and expensive.

The two main highways I-93 and I-90 (also known as the Massachusetts Turnpike, Mass Pike or Pike) connect Boston with the rest of the United States according to loverists. Anyone who comes over the Mass Pike has to pay – currently around $ 1.25. The Sumner Tunnel, the Ted Williams Tunnel and the Tobin Bridge are also chargeable. Minor roads leading into Boston are Route 9 (Old Worcester Turnpike), Route 2, and US 1, while another highway, I-95 (also known as Route 128) circles the city.

Right-hand traffic prevails in the USA.

Boston Transportation

Maximum speed
In urban areas, the speed limit for motor vehicles is between 25 and 30 mph (miles per hour). This corresponds to about 40-48 km / h. As a general rule: On interstate highways, depending on the state, 55-75 mph (miles per hour; this corresponds to 89-121 km / h); outside of cities on open roads 65 mph (105 km / h); 55 mph on US and State Highways.

per mille limit The maximum permitted blood alcohol level for drivers of motor vehicles is 0.8 per mille.

Other notes
Petrol is cheaper than in Europe. At petrol stations, you often have to pay in advance. The gasoline is filled in gallons, whereby one gallon equals 3.78 liters.

Car rental
Car rental companies are everywhere in Boston. Most interesting in this regard is Zipcar, which also rent their cars by the hour. Rental rates vary widely, especially between Boston and Cambridge. But the agencies at Logan Airport in East Boston are the cheapest. There are large international car rental companies at the airports. There are flat rates and discounts for tourists. Credit card holders are often not required to pay a deposit. An “Economy” or “Compact” corresponds to a normal European car, “Standard” is a large sedan. The required minimum age of the driver differs depending on the car rental company. Especially travelers under the age of 25 should inform themselves about this in good time.

Interstate highways

The state of Massachusetts has a well-developed network of interstate highways that connect the state with other US states. There are a total of 50,400 km of interstate highways in Massachusetts, including the following:

  • Interstate 84
  • Interstate 90
  • Interstate 91
  • Interstate 93
  • Interstate 95
  • Interstate 190
  • Interstate 195
  • Interstate 290
  • Interstate 291
  • Interstate 391
  • Interstate 395
  • Interstate 495

Air traffic

Boston Logan International Airport
Boston Logan International Airport is the main gateway to Boston and New England. Located only a few kilometers from the city center, it is served by all well-known domestic and international airlines. Lufthansa connects Frankfurt / Main and Munich with the Boston Logan, while Swiss flies from Zurich.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and TF Green Airport
If your destination is outside of Boston, you’d better fly to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, about 70 km north of Boston, or TF Green Airport, an airport about 85 km outside of the city and in Located south. Once there, travelers should take a rental car, which is still the best way to travel in the US.

On the way by bus

Buses are not the best, but they are a good alternative, because the network is very extensive and the buses are cheaper than the underground. A one-way trip currently costs $ 1.50 (only $ 1.25 with the Charlie Card), which has to be paid for with the driver. We recommend a 7 day pass for $ 15 or a day ticket. Both can be purchased from the vending machines in the underground stations.

Boston Deluxe connects Boston with New York and Hartford, Fung Wah Transportation also goes to New York to Chinatown. Other intercity buses are Greyhound Bus Lines, LimoLiner, Lucky Star Bus, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Megabus, BoltBus and World Wide Bus.

On the way by train

The commuter trains are a good addition to the subway, which actually does not need any addition. Because the trains are quite expensive – hands off and take the subway. Commuter trains are a good option when traveling to cities outside of Boston, however.

Boston has three inner city train stations served by both Amtrak and MBTA. Trains from the west and south of the country stop at South Station, and trains from West and South stop at Back Bay and continue to South Station. The North Station, as the name suggests, serves as a stop for trains from the north. There are connections to many major cities in the USA, such as to / from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Portland and Chicago. There is currently no direct train connection to Canada.

On the go with the subway

The Boston subway is usually referred to simply and for short as “T”, which mostly only refers to the subway, even if buses, commuter trains, etc. are part of the T. The subway is fast, quite comfortable and makes sense because it covers most of the city well. For a trip you pay $ 2, with the so-called Charlie Card (also known as Charlie Ticket) only $ 1.70. These discounts are also available for trips on the inner-city buses. In general, the Charlie Card is the only way to switch between the underground and buses for free. You can get this Charlie Card in every T station. It is simply topped up with the desired amount at the machine.

The subway works in such a way that people can change trains as often as they want. The journey is only over when you go outside. It’s worth buying a day or week pass, the latter for $ 15. Caution when traveling on the subway is only required to be careful where the train is actually going. Because several routes are often used on the same track. Clear underground maps of the sometimes quite confusing routes and routes are available at every major stop. Just ask one of the operators. All bus, boat and commuter connections are also shown on these maps. By and large, the subway doesn’t run between 1am and 5am. But that’s the only drawback.


Taxis are ubiquitous and can be found at every major intersection. One should expect to pay anywhere from $ 5 to $ 30 for downtown areas. Longer journeys – from the airport to Wellesley, for example – will hardly get you under $ 80. To cut a long story short, Boston has the most expensive taxis in any major city in the United States.

Boat and ferry

MBTA Ferries operate from Hingham, Hull and Quincy. Cruise ships stop at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal on One Black Falcon Avenue. There are numerous water taxis in Boston. The most sensible line for tourists is the shuttle from Long Wharf to Navy Yard for currently $ 1.70. This gives visitors a convenient link between the USS Constitution Museum and the Faneuil Hall area and the New England Aquarium.

Per pedes apostolorum – On foot in Boston

Believe it or not, Boston is arguably the only major city in the United States that is great for exploring on foot. This is proven by the red stripe on the sidewalk, the so-called Freedom Trail, which leads to the most important historical sights of the city. Walking is free and comfortable. The city is clean, safe, and full of historically interesting places, most of which are in close proximity to a subway station. Do you need more good arguments for walking?


Many Bostonians ride bikes year-round, as the size of the city and its relatively flat topography easily make it sensible and enjoyable. However, you should be prepared for many potholes on the road and sometimes a lack of cycle paths. ambridge already has more bike paths. But even there they are not common everywhere. Driving on the sidewalk is forbidden there. A very good transit route for cyclists is the Southwest Corridor Bike Path, a large connection that runs parallel to the Orange Line of the subway and connects Forest Hills with Back Bay. There is nothing better for visitors to Jamaica Plain.

Bicycles can be rented from New Balance Hubway, with 61 branches and around 600 bicycles as a fleet. These cost $ 5 per day and $ 12 for three days. You can also rent it from Boston Bicycle (or Cambridge Bicycle) for $ 25 per day.

In the extensive local transport system of the MBTA, bicycles are only allowed in the blue, red and orange lines – except at peak times, then not at all. The same goes for the commuter trains. You can always take them with you on buses, as long as bike racks are available. Bikes are also allowed in the MBTA boats and ferries without exception.


Boston: Getting There and Transportation
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