Logan International Airport
On Massachusetts Route 1A in East Boston, Logan International Airport has four separate terminals (A, B, C and E) that are connected by frequent shuttle buses. Downtown Boston is just a few miles from the airport and is accessible by bus, subway, water shuttle and taxi.
Water shuttles and ferries operate between Logan and the Boston waterfront. Take the free water transportation shuttle bus 66 from the airport terminal to the ferry dock. Fares to the North End and Charlestown are more expensive than fares to downtown.
Boston Harbor Cruises Water Taxi Service to Long Wharf and other waterfront destinations.
MBTA Cross Harbor Ferry Less expensive (but less frequent) service from Logan to Long Wharf.
Rowes Wharf Water Taxi Serves Rowes Wharf near the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Moakley Federal Courthouse on the Fort Point Channel and the World Trade Center in the Seaport District. Taxis also go to the North End and Charlestown for a higher fare.
The silver line is the MBTA’s 'bus rapid transit service.' It travels between Logan International Airport and South Station, with stops in the Seaport District. This is the most convenient way to get into the city if you are staying in the Seaport District or anywhere along the red line (Downtown, Beacon Hill, Cambridge).
Silver-line buses are free for passengers embarking at the airport, and they connect directly to the red-line subway at South Station, so you don't have to buy a separate ticket for the T. Returning to the airport, silver-line prices and hours are the same as for subway lines.
Car & Motorcycle
Three tunnels connect Logan Airport to I-93 and downtown Boston. If you're driving from the airport into Boston or to points north of the city, the Sumner Tunnel will lead you to Storrow Dr or over the Zakim Bridge to I-93 North. To points south of Boston, use the Ted Williams Tunnel to I-93 South. To or from points west, the Mass Pike connects directly with the Ted Williams Tunnel.
To reach the airport from downtown Boston, take the Callahan Tunnel or the Ted Williams Tunnel.
The toll is the same for all three tunnels ($2.65). Automatic pay-by-plate billing has eliminated the need for toll booths; you'll receive a bill in the mail based on an electronic scan of your license plate. (Check with your car-rental agency about how they handle this.)
The T, or the MBTA subway (www.mbta.com), is a fast and cheap way to reach the city from the airport. From any terminal, take a free, well-marked shuttle bus (22 or 33) to the blue-line T station called Airport and you’ll be downtown within 30 minutes. The one-way subway fare is $2.75; buy tickets at machines in the station.
Taxi fares from Logan are approximately $25 to downtown Boston, $30 to Kenmore Square and $35 to Harvard Square.
A quiet alternative to Logan, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is just 55 miles north of Boston in New Hampshire.
The Flight Line Inc shuttle (www.flightlineinc.com) offers a shuttle service between MHT and Boston for about $140.
Just outside the city of Providence, RI, TF Green Airport is serviced by major carriers. Southwest Airlines, in particular, offers very competitively priced tickets. The airport is one hour south of Boston.
The MBTA commuter rail (www.mbta.com) travels between Green Airport and South Station ($12, 90 minutes, 10 daily), with stops at Ruggles and Back Bay stations along the way.
The infamous 'Chinatown Buses' originated in the late 1990s as an affordable way for Chinese workers to travel to and from jobs. They offered supercheap tickets between Boston and New York, traveling from Chinatown to Chinatown. Young, savvy travelers caught wind of the bargain transportation, and the phenomenon began to spread. It was crowded and confusing and probably not that safe, but it sure was cheap.
In recent years, more and more companies are running buses on this route; however, they don't always start and end in Chinatown. With competition has come improved service and better safety records, and many offer free wi-fi service on board. But the prices remain blissfully low.
Lucky Star Bus (www.luckystarbus.com) Leaves from South Station 12 to 14 times daily. Tickets must be purchased at least one hour before departure time. Full fare one way costs $25 to $35, while nonrefundable last-minute tickets can go for as little as $8.
Megabus (www.megabus.com) Rates vary from $5 to $50 depending on the time of day of travel and how far in advance tickets are purchased. In addition to New York, buses go to Burlington and Montpelier, VT; Portland, ME; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Washington, DC. Buses leave from South Station.
GO Buses (www.gobuses.com) Buses to New York City ($18 to $44) depart from Alewife station in Cambridge. Buses also go to Providence, RI; Hartford and New Haven, CT; and Washington, DC.
Car & Motorcycle
If you're driving into Boston, you'll likely enter from north or south via I-93 (aka, the Central Artery) or from the west I-90 (the Mass Pike).
In central Boston, from I-93, there are exits to Storrow Dr (to points west), Causeway St (near North Station), Callahan Tunnel (to the airport), Purchase St (to Government Center), Surface Rd and Kneeland St (near Chinatown), I-90 and South Station.
From I-90, there are exits to Allston-Brighton (and Cambridge), Prudential Tunnel (to Copley Sq), South Station and I-93, and the Ted Williams Tunnel (to the airport). The Mass Pike is a toll road, although you don't have to stop and pay. Bills are delivered through the mail, based on the address associated with the automobile's license plate. For rental cars, you'll want to investigate how the rental agency handles these charges.
Located in downtown Boston, South Station is the terminus for Amtrak trains to/from New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. It's also a stop for silver-line buses and the red line of the T.