Using the MBTA:  The MBTA, the T, is a series of above and below ground trains.  This is the major public transportation system of Boston.

Paying for the T:  A T ride costs $2 and you can chance trains as often as you want.  The Charlie Ticket is how you pay for the T.  You can purchase Charlie Tickets at the electronic stations located at every stop.  The Charlie Card is a more permanent card geared more towards residents and less towards tourists.  It is $1.70 per ride with the Charlie Card.  The Charlie Card is only available for purchase online and at Park Street Station in downtown Boston.  There are also week and weekend passes which may be more convenient.  You can read all about T passes at the MBTA website.

Getting around on the T: The majority of the things you are going to want to see are on the Red line.  This line goes from Alewife Station (a great place to park for $7 a day) through Davis Square(where Sarah and Stefan Live) through Harvard Square, Kendall Square, and on down to Park Street at the center of town.  To navigate the T, look at a map and determine which direction on which line you are headed.  Then, find the endpoint of that line in that direction.  Instead of relying on inbound/outbound which gets tricky in the middle, just make sure you are either headed towards the endpoint in that direction.  If the line you are looking for splits, make sure you wait for a train that will go to your final destination.  If you are getting off before the split, any train will be fine.  This is especially important on the Green line which fingers out quite a bit. Finding the train platform can be tricky in some of the larger stations.  Follow the signs as best you can and head towards areas that are the color of the line you are looking for.  The red line platforms will have red walls; green will have greener décor, etc.

Driving in Boston: Rule number 1: use a GPS if at all possible.  The signage in Massachusetts is terrible.  The rental car companies will offer a GPS and you should really take it.  Rule number 2: I90 = Mass Pike and rt128=I95.  They are used interchangeably on signage so if you can get your lingo down, you’ll be much better off.  Rule number 3: people in the traffic circle have the right away but if you aren’t forceful no one will let you in.  Rule number 4: There are always pedestrians and bikers to watch out for.  Lots of college kids=lots of bikes.  Rule number 5: No one knows how to yield so don’t watch out.  Rule number 6: they have the concept of a delayed green which gives one direction a protected left without telling them.  It is really unnerving but if oncoming traffic isn’t coming, that means you have the right away to turn left.  Why we can’t have left turn arrows like everywhere else, I’m not sure.

Parking: Parking in Cambridge and Somerville is by permit only.  There is a limited amount of metered parking but for $7 plus T fare, you can park at Alewife Station and take the T into Davis, Harvard, or into Boston.  There are parking lots in Harvard Square in Cambridge but they can get pricey.


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