Boston is an old city that can be hard to get around because it’s not on a grid system and the traffic can be terrible because it wasn’t designed for cars. Whether you’re planning a trip to Boston, moving here, or you just want to see if you agree with me, here’s every way to get around Boston ranked (according to me).
1. City Bike
If you’re not going too far in Boston, the bikes you can rent for a period of time in Boston are a great way to go. As long as you’re biking safely, this is a good choice because you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your bike or finding a place to store it/paying to store your bike in your apartment. You would have to do a little more planning to make sure wherever you go there’s a place you can dock your bike. As long as you’re not going too far for you to bike there, this is an excellent choice. If you didn’t know, traffic in Boston is absolutely terrible, so it’s best to avoid it if at all possible. Plus with a city bike you don’t have to worry about riding your bike home if you’re out and about and it starts raining!
2. Your Own Bike
Similarly to our number one spot, riding your own bike is pretty preferable. It’s not the most bike friendly city, but they are working to change that! This got second place since it means you’ll need to find a place to store your bike and a place to park it. And since Boston is a city, there is a risk of theft. Plus, you have to worry about your bike when you move. Basically, if you don’t already have a bike, look to see if it’s feasible for you to use the city’s bikes because it would be a lot easier. Just make sure you still wear a helmet because it can be pretty dangerous to ride a bike in a city!
3. Electric Scooter
Lime has recently come to Boston, for better or for worse. Though that’s not entirely a perfect option, since Lime isn’t in every part of the city. And electric scooters are expensive, but I have to rate them so high because they seem like a pretty solid choice to get around the city since you don’t have to exert the amount of energy you have to when biking, and it’s faster than walking. This is getting more and more common in the city, which isn’t really surprising considering how fun and easy they are. As long as you’re safe!
4. The T (Subway)
Let’s be honest, the T probably deserves the number one spot because it’s probably the method of transportation you should and will end up using. It’s a good way to get around Boston, but it can be really crowded, there’s tendency for there to be a lot of delays, and it doesn’t run past around 1 AM. It’s a much better way to get around honestly than I’m giving it credit for, but that’s mostly because there are a lot of issues with it. Like how you can’t buy tickets at all stops, and sometimes the delays are pretty sizable.
5. Ride Share
Ride share isn’t higher on here because traffic in Boston is terrible, but if you need to get across Boston a ride share app is probably your best bet. It can take a few changes on the T/buses to get around the city because of the lack of a grid system, so if you can afford to take an Uber or Lyft, a lot of times it will get you somewhere quicker. Still, a lot of times Ubers and Lyfts in the city can be frustrating, just like anywhere else. And they can get really expensive if you’re going far or if there’s surge pricing, which can be pretty common. For whatever reason I’ve had more bad Uber experiences in Boston than in other places.
This could just be a me thing, but I find that the buses in Boston can be kind of troublesome because of the traffic, the construction, and the waiting at the stops. I am a young woman so I don’t like waiting at bus stops later at night. The bus also probably belongs higher on this list, but the traffic and the hassle of figuring out what bus you need to be on can be really frustrating. But sometimes it is the easiest way to get somewhere.
If you’re driving your own car in Boston, good luck, honestly. Drivers in Boston are aggressive, angry, and just want to get where they’re going. Parking in Boston is either hard to find or expensive, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a ticket. The traffic is terrible, and no one knows how to drive. You will get honked at, cut off, and cussed out. It’s pretty much inevitable. Parking at your apartment is probably going to cost more than it’s worth on top of the parking tickets you’re probably going to accumulate. And if you’re a college student with a car, you’re going to end up driving a lot of people a lot of places, especially during move in.
This doesn’t have a number because it’s kind of necessary for almost everything on the list. This is unavoidable. You definitely can walk everywhere you want to go in Boston but it would take you a while. Boston’s pretty walkable depending on what area you’re in. But if you take the T, a bus, or bike somewhere, you’re probably going to end walking a bit to get wherever you’re going. I don’t think this is sustainable for longer distances, but it’s definitely a good way to get around when you’re going a short distance and necessary when you take the T or the bus.