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The T: You know you want to ride trains (and busses)

KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
edited October 2010 in PAX Archive
So, you're not from Boston, and you need to know how to get around.

Well, I have good news for you! Unlike last year, google actually knows the Bostonian "T". See below for details.

DEFINITION of the T:
The "T" is the bostonian shorthand for the public transit system. It includes the Busses, the Trains, the Trolleys, the Commuter Rail, and the Silver Line (which are busses that pretend they're trains).

IMPORTANT TERMS:

INBOUND : Will always be going toward the center of Boston (until it goes past the center of Boston, and then it's not inbound anymore).

OUTBOUND : Will always be going away from the center of Boston. Once a train is outbound, it stays outbound. (same with busses)

RED LINE / ORANGE LINE / GREEN LINE / BLUE LINE: The core trains of the T System. They will always be trains / trolleys, and will generally be your easiest way to go from A to B. The Convention Center is close to the Red, Orange, and Green lines. It is not close to the Blue line.

T STATION : This is a place that a TRAIN stops. Bus stops can be at T stations, but a normal Bus Stop is not a T STATION. For instance, the BCEC is not a T STATION.

"Take the ##.": This means you are being instructed to take a bus. The busses are numbered, and will be flashing on them their ENDPOINT- that is the easiest way to tell what direction it is going. For instance, the #7 will be going by the convention center all the time. "DOWNTOWN CROSSING" will be Inbound, and be going toward South Station. Anything else that is a 7 is coming back toward the convention center.

CHARLIE TICKET: This is a multiple-use pass that will store value. It will be made out of paper with a magnetic strip. If you pay cash on a bus or the Silver Line, your change will be issued in ticket-form. You can get a 3-day or 7-day pass on this (not noted on their website- the kiosks at T Stations will have it available).

*I am absolutely certain 3-day passes are available. They are advertised at the Government Center T station specifically for tourists, and were available this summer when I had people visiting me*

CHARLIE CARD : This is a hard card, that can store value. It is always the cheapest way to pay. PAX has in the past mailed you one with your badges. From Here you can order cards from the MBTA, or add value to the card before even getting to Boston.

7-DAY PASSES: These are available on Charlie Tickets. They grant unlimited access to the Red Line, Green Line, Blue Line, Orange Line, Silver Line, and all Bus lines. They can be transfered manually to a Charlie Card at a Kisosk, but there isn't much reason to do so.

WHERE TO BUY PASSES: Normal (7-day or monthly) passes are available at any Kisosk. Kiosks are located in all T Stations- but not at bus stops. T-Passes have a 30-minute cooldown if used at the same station twice- IE using it, then handing it back to someone will not work, but if you walk to a different station (or bus line) and take something else, it will work. (Example: I use my pass to get into Downtown Crossing Station. I realize I forgot something at work, leave the station, and come back in 5 minutes. I try to use my pass, and it denies me since it's within 30 minutes. I walk 5 minutes to Park Street Station and use it there. It will let me on, despite it only being 10 minutes since I last used it- it is a different station, so this is okay.)


MBTA: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. They run the T. That link will let you get maps, schedules, and fair information.

Trip Planning: This link gives an example trip plan. Google Maps, if you search for directions For two things accessible by the T, you can click the little train icon between the car and pedestrian, and it will give you times and what you should take.

Finally, the golden rule of Boston: We're not unfriendly, we just tend to be focused. If you ask for help and directions, you will almost always receive it- especially from someone standing there waiting for the Bus / Train anyway. Boston isn't hard to get around, but it can be very confusing.


See you all at PAX!

~Kia

Kiashien on
The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
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Posts

  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    [Reserved for upcoming Cab info]

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

    Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.
  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You should totally help with the wiki! I'm working on the Transportation pages and we are totally more-the-merrier on it!

    http://www.hgpaxeast.com/

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  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Yep what juju said!

    Its called the Hitchhiker's Guide to PAX East 2011 and the thread url is http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=127998

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also this
    CHARLIE TICKET: This is a multiple-use pass that will store value. It will be made out of paper with a magnetic strip. Contrary to belief, using a Charlie Ticket that already has stored value does not cost more- but it does take longer. If you pay cash on a bus, your change will be issued in ticket-form.

    is a bit misleading. Using a Charlie Ticket does not cost more than cash but it definitely costs more than using a Charlie Card.

  • KrisstaKrissta New HampshireRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also this
    CHARLIE TICKET: This is a multiple-use pass that will store value. It will be made out of paper with a magnetic strip. Contrary to belief, using a Charlie Ticket that already has stored value does not cost more- but it does take longer. If you pay cash on a bus, your change will be issued in ticket-form.

    is a bit misleading. Using a Charlie Ticket does not cost more than cash but it definitely costs more than using a Charlie Card.

    Wow, I never knew using the card was less money than the ticket...

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Monthly/weekly/daily rates are the same but for single rides the card saves you $0.25 on the T and I forget what on the bus. Which doesn't feel like a lot until you are short that damn quarter and don't want to put in a $10 bill and get a $9.75 ticket you'll never use and don't feel like going to downtown crossing to get turned back into real money >_<

  • acumen101acumen101 Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    You save money with the Charlie Card over the Ticket by $0.30 on subway fare ($2.00 with the Ticket, $1.70 with the Card). As for the bus, it's a savings of $0.25 ($1.50 with the Ticket, $1.25 with the card).

    NOTE: These prices are PER RIDE. Once you cross the fare gates, you can't say "mulligan" and go back through; you'll have to cough up more money to ride again.

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  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I'll verify that this weekend and update it if that's true. When they first implemented it you got the discount as long as you used a card or a ticket. :) It might have changed over the years. I'll cascade updates to the Wiki too once I've got all the info I'm trying to put together here. :) I only have so much time each week, but I figured it was one little thing I could manage :)

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/ It's been that way since they brought on the Charlie Cards. That was the motivator for people to switch to the plastic cards.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also of notee: if you're going anywhere remotely odd, boston cabbies suck at knowing where that is. Figure out how to get theree and be prepared to have to tell them (they will know airport, bcec, lansdowne etc. Though)

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Most cabbies have GPS's, especially Metro Cab.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The one upside to CharlieTicket is that the 7-day weekly passes are still issued on them, which, if you're gonna take the train more than 8 single rides, is an even BETTER deal than the Charlie Card.

    So for folks thinking about sightseeing or not staying at the Waterfront, this may be a much better option (I addressed this in the Wiki article).

    For those who this doesn't apply to, a Charlie Card is more Eco-friendly and also quicker (it uses smartchip technology so it's a fraction of a second tap AND you don't have to take it out of your wallet, it will read right through it if it's right against the edge of the wallet) which is why they promote a lower fare. It's also programmed to record up to 2 bus transfers within 2 hrs of your first tap:

    If you took the subway to the 7 bus with a Ticket, they'd charge you $2.00 + $1.50 for the bus, for a total of $3.50.
    If you had a card, it would be $1.70 total. You could even dick around in Downtown Crossing (visiting Juju at work?!) for an hour and THEN use the card and still be in the clear :D

    If you used the Card to get on the 7 bus towards the T then transferred to the train, they'd charge you $1.25 for the bus then when you tapped into the train within 2 hrs they'd only deduct $0.45 more from your card :)

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  • lucazzolucazzo Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Most cabbies have GPS's, especially Metro Cab.

    Which they have a habit of never using unless they're hopelessly lost, at which point they've made the meter run an extra $3.50.

    If you have a smartphone, look up directions as you're getting in the cab and keep them handy just in case.

    The #1 question most asked by Boston cabbies: "where are you going?"
    The #2 question most asked by Boston cabbies: "how do you get there?/can you give me directions?"

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't know if you all scream target or something but I've never had an issue cabbing it in Boston.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Ditto.

    Usually, if you are staying near a big landmark or recognizable area that's what you should mention when you're taking a cab downtown.

    For instance, I live in the lovely Union Square area in Somerville off a small, unrecognizable sidestreet (that only Somerville-based cabbies would know). So when I'm taking a cab home from downtown, I'll say, "Union Square", and in that time, use my smartphone or general knowledge of the area to give more specific directions when I get closer.

    With Google Maps, it's really easy to find a big landmark beforehand (or even on your phone) to get to where you need to go if your cabbie doesn't have GPS. So even if they fail at taking you to your specific destination, you'll be close enough to where you need to go and they won't be running up the meter.

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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited October 2010
    On the subject of cabbies, while they are required by law to accept credit cards, make sure their machine is not broken before getting in the cab. On my way to the train station from the hotel last year to go home, I got to my destination and he started giving me all kinds of shit about how the machine was broken and I should go inside and get cash and come out to pay him. It was like pulling teeth to get the guy to pull out the manual imprinter, and he blamed me for not telling him I was paying with a card when I got in the cab.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't know if anyone plans to make it out to Cambridge or so for any reason, but those cabbies do not have credit card machines.

    Yeah, by law, they take cards if the cab company is based out of metro Boston. But if you flag down a cab on its way back to Brookline/Cambridge/Somerville, you WILL be out of luck, so I agree with the post above, PLEASE check to see if they have a machine/if the machine works. You will save yourself a tons of trouble.

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  • Loki_HKDLoki_HKD Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The closest T stop to the Convention center for PAXEAST is on the Silver Line World Trade Center Stop.

    The number 7 Bus will stop right out front of the Convention Center.

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  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    As a side note, while I do intend to transfer any info gathered / collated / formatted here to the wiki, if someone wants to do it before I get to, please do. Just note me as a contributor please :)

    Otherwise, I will- it just will take time. :)

    The pirate hat riding bobcat compels you...

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  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Kiashien wrote: »
    As a side note, while I do intend to transfer any info gathered / collated / formatted here to the wiki, if someone wants to do it before I get to, please do. Just note me as a contributor please :)

    Otherwise, I will- it just will take time. :)

    If I get to it before you do then I'll leave a reply. Either way I'll mark you as a contrib. :)

  • Loki_HKDLoki_HKD Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Rdr wrote: »
    Kiashien wrote: »
    As a side note, while I do intend to transfer any info gathered / collated / formatted here to the wiki, if someone wants to do it before I get to, please do. Just note me as a contributor please :)

    Otherwise, I will- it just will take time. :)

    If I get to it before you do then I'll leave a reply. Either way I'll mark you as a contrib. :)

    Should we created a second for Best Ways to get to the BCEC or just add it to the Getting Around on the T section?

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  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Loki_HKD wrote: »
    Rdr wrote: »
    Kiashien wrote: »
    As a side note, while I do intend to transfer any info gathered / collated / formatted here to the wiki, if someone wants to do it before I get to, please do. Just note me as a contributor please :)

    Otherwise, I will- it just will take time. :)

    If I get to it before you do then I'll leave a reply. Either way I'll mark you as a contrib. :)

    Should we created a second for Best Ways to get to the BCEC or just add it to the Getting Around on the T section?

    We have a page similar. We could use the OP to add into the Getting Around on the T page we have.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Any chance you can merge the Airport/T page with the Getting Around on the T page?

    I couldn't figure out how to do that on the Wiki and I just edited it and changed the title (it was talking abot Hynes stuff), but I couldn't delete it/merge it.

    So yeah, there's a lot of duplicate information.

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  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Ya, a lot of last year's stuff was done about 2-3 weeks before PAX.

    I'll look into the delete/merge thing. Did you create a user and stuff? Maybe thats why.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I did register, and I was the one who edited the airport page. I figured out how to redirect but not to merge.

    Also, I can't believed I missed all of this, but some of what the OP wrote was downright wrong. The OP might want to change some stuff on this post if anyone's going by this as canon instead of our wiki:
    CHARLIE TICKET: This is a multiple-use pass that will store value. It will be made out of paper with a magnetic strip. If you pay cash on a bus, your change will be issued in ticket-form. You can get a 3-day pass on this (not noted on their website- the kiosks at T Stations will have it available)

    There is no such thing as a 3-day pass. They only come in 1-day or 7-day link passes (valid on the basic buses as well as the T). They actually work for 23 hrs 59 min/6 days 23 hrs 59 min of when you buy them, unlike NYC's passes which only run until midnight of the day you buy them.
    CHARLIE CARD : This is a hard card, that can store value. It is always the cheapest way to pay. You can get a 7-day pass on this. PAX has in the past mailed you one with your badges. From Here you can order cards from the MBTA, or add value to the card before even getting to Boston.

    You cannot get a 1 or a 7 day pass on a Charlie Card unless you go to a retail vendor, like a convenience store, or you buy a ticket and transfer it to a hard card at an MBTA office (which are located at Back Bay and Downtown Crossing). If you tap your Charlie Card to purchase one at the vending machine, it simply does not work - it will just issue you a ticket.

    I vote the OP changes this soon or the thread be locked I'm not sure why I didn't catch that before, either. Gross oversight on my part.

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  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Looked into the wiki stuff a little bit. Still pretty new with how it all works. Found this page about merging/moving pages. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Merging_and_moving_pages

    The way you did it is fine. I'm gonna go ahead and delete the airport to hynes page and we might want to update the airport to boston to be airport to bcec.

  • alyu85alyu85 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Getting to the BCEC from Logan is easy. SL1 stops at all the terminals and stops directly the BCEC at World Trade Center Sta. If you're coming from South Station, it's the same.

    Also I don't think there are links to the tourism and other pages on the wiki. Not sure how to fix it- New to editing too

  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    alyu85 wrote: »
    Getting to the BCEC from Logan is easy. SL1 stops at all the terminals and stops directly the BCEC at World Trade Center Sta. If you're coming from South Station, it's the same.

    Also I don't think there are links to the tourism and other pages on the wiki. Not sure how to fix it- New to editing too

    Ya it is pretty easy. Thats why I proposed the "Getting from the airport to..." and then we can give directions to BCEC and the supported hotels.

    I was working on the wiki today and didn't link the tourism page. Its here: http://www.hgpaxeast.com/index.php?title=Tourism

    I have the main page under construction so its protected and only able to be edited by me. Everything else though can be edited if you sign up for an account and log in.

  • alyu85alyu85 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    I don't know why but you blocked my account for some reason, when I was deleting some spam someone was putting up. Is that why or is there some other reason? My account is the same as the one here.

  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    alyu85 wrote: »
    I don't know why but you blocked my account for some reason, when I was deleting some spam someone was putting up. Is that why or is there some other reason? My account is the same as the one here.

    Ah crap. I'm sorry! I've been having a hard time fighting spam and a spammer made a few names similar to yours and it didn't click that you're the same person. I will fix that now. Again, sorry about that.

    Edit: You should be unblocked.

  • alyu85alyu85 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Um I think you unblocked the wrong person. My block was #7 not 8. Thanks!

  • RdrRdr Rider Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Hmm. Try it now. I don't see any other blocks related to your username.

  • alyu85alyu85 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Yeah it's good now. Thank a lot!

  • It's not a tumorIt's not a tumor Registered User
    edited October 2010
    Anyone have experience with Boston's water taxis? They seem like they'd be a great way to get to and from the convention but I'm concerned with things like how often they run, how many there really are, etc.

  • jujujuju Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I don't see them used too often by people who live here, so I cannot provide any information. Sorry :(

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  • kSmashkSmash Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Just a warning to those who plan to take the train in the Boston area (i.e. to get around after arriving in Boston) the commuter rail system is pretty unreliable...

    I've taken it 5 days a week for the past 4 years and it has never arrived on time plus i've been in 3 train accidents( hit a motorcycle, then a car, and a dead body was found on the tracks).

    So if you try to save money by staying in a hotel outside of Boston and might take the train you have been warned.

  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    kSmash wrote: »
    Just a warning to those who plan to take the train in the Boston area (i.e. to get around after arriving in Boston) the commuter rail system is pretty unreliable...

    I've taken it 5 days a week for the past 4 years and it has never arrived on time plus i've been in 3 train accidents( hit a motorcycle, then a car, and a dead body was found on the tracks).

    So if you try to save money by staying in a hotel outside of Boston and might take the train you have been warned.

    wow, really? i live in salem and take the commuter rail pretty often and i've never had any problems with drastic lateness or accidents. obviously these things are going to happen, but my experience is that it's not so often as to strike terror in the hearts of pax goers. you do have to plan a little extra time for yourself to get where you're going, but that's always true when using public transportation.

    what line are you riding anyway? dead bodies? yikes.

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  • alyu85alyu85 Registered User
    edited October 2010
    kSmash wrote: »
    Just a warning to those who plan to take the train in the Boston area (i.e. to get around after arriving in Boston) the commuter rail system is pretty unreliable...

    I've taken it 5 days a week for the past 4 years and it has never arrived on time plus i've been in 3 train accidents( hit a motorcycle, then a car, and a dead body was found on the tracks).

    So if you try to save money by staying in a hotel outside of Boston and might take the train you have been warned.

    Yeah I don't really think that's happened to me at all. I almost never have any delays on the Commuter Rail.

  • It's not a tumorIt's not a tumor Registered User
    edited October 2010
    kSmash wrote: »
    Just a warning to those who plan to take the train in the Boston area (i.e. to get around after arriving in Boston) the commuter rail system is pretty unreliable...

    I've taken it 5 days a week for the past 4 years and it has never arrived on time plus i've been in 3 train accidents( hit a motorcycle, then a car, and a dead body was found on the tracks).

    So if you try to save money by staying in a hotel outside of Boston and might take the train you have been warned.

    3 accidents in 4 years? That actually sounds like a pretty good track record compared to Denver. I hear about light-rail accidents all the time and even just using it irregularly I've been in one accident where some idiot slammed his pickup into the side of the train at an intersection.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    The reliability of the rail depends entirely on which commuter line it is. They all have different degrees of reliability based on who else they share the tracks with.

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