The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 47.0°F | Fair

MIT, MBTA Offer Several Modes of Transportation

By Jeffrey Greenbaum


This is the second in a series of articles dedicated to shedding some light on how to get around MIT.

Although the MIT community spans both Boston and Cambridge, there are many ways to navigate these cities.

For those that live in the further reaches of campus, such as Next House or any of the off campus fraternities and sororities, a pair of rollerblades or a bicycle is a worthy investment. They not only will help fend off the freshmen fifteen, but will help you to arrive at class on schedule.

However, the Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority (affectionately known as the T) and MIT-run shuttles do the trick for longer-range transportation (and for those of us who are too lazy to hoof it across the bridge).

MIT offers different shuttles

If you wait at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, A Safe Ride (affectionately known as SafeRide) or the Tech Shuttle are bound to arrive. Saferide is a free service that begins at 6 PM and runs until 3 AM from Sunday through Wednesday, and until 4 AM from Thursday through Saturday.

Its four routes, Boston East, Boston West, Cambridge East, and Cambridge West, make stops at nearly every FSILG, some dormitories, and even Star Market.

The Graduate Student Council recently donated a fifth van to help the redesign of Saferide routes. Soulaymane Kachani G, former Graduate Student Council President, said that SafeRide will redesign its Cambridge routes to include a Cambridge North that will better suit undergraduate and graduate students’ living. In particular, the route redesign will serve NW30, a first-year graduate dormitory that opened this summer.

For getting to and from class during the day, the Tech Shuttle operates from 7:15 AM to 7:33 PM and runs from Kendall Square to west campus.

If you do bring a car to campus, good luck parking it during the day. Either get a parking pass from MIT’s Parking Office (about $400 for the year) or only move your car from Memorial Drive at night.

Boston area accessible by T

If you want to travel off campus, the T is your best bet. Depending on which line you take, a one-dollar token can get you to Harvard, the airport, Northeastern, the Symphony, Chinatown, the Prudential mall, or just about anywhere else.

Near the MIT Coop, the Red Line’s Kendall Square is the closest stop to MIT’s campus and dormitories. Many Boston fraternities are located near Green Line stops such as Copley and Kenmore, while some Cambridge living groups are near the Red Line’s Central Square.

The T runs from approximately 5:15 AM to 12:30 AM and provides quick transportation along each of its four lines: Red, Green, Orange, and Blue.

MIT sells monthly passes in Lobby 10 and building E32 at the end of the prior month. Passes exist for unlimited usage of each service as well as combination passes for multiple services.

To travel to Boston’s suburbs, MBTA provides a commuter rail that costs a few dollars and runs frequently during business hours. A few stations along the T, such as Porter Square and South Station, provide a means of transferring to the Commuter Rail.

MBTA’s bus system also stops throughout Boston and Cambridge, Somerville, and other towns. Bus Number One will soon become a good friend, taking you from Boston to Harvard Square and everywhere in between, including 77 Massachusetts Avenue. Bus fare is 75 cents.

Outdoor bus stops often do not post the schedules, so it is necessary to know one’s destination time and arrive well in advance to make a successful trip.

The Wave and other options

Between bikes, MIT shuttles, and the T, you should be pretty well taken care of, although you should always budget time for waiting at stations and stops. But just in case, there are a few more specialized shuttles that can be quite useful.

The first of these is the Longwood Medical Area Shuttle, or LMA. It looks like an MBTA bus, and stops at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, but it is white and blue and the bus drivers are much more friendly. The LMA goes from Harvard University to Simmons College and many Boston-area hospitals via Kenmore Square, so it can be convenient for FSILG members. Unfortunately, it’s only free for Harvard students. A ten-ride pass is $7.50 and is available at Harvard’s Holyoke Center.

The second is the Wave, a free shuttle that runs from the Kendall Square T stop to the CambridgeSide Galleria.

Finally, Wellesley and Brandeis both offer services which make stops near MIT campus and brings students between the colleges. Wellesley’s bus, which is free during school hours and costs two dollars on the weekends, runs nearly every hour and has a stop on the Boston end of the Harvard bridge and near McCormick. Brandeis offers a van which makes a stop near the Harvard Bridge in Boston on the weekend, as well as Harvard Square.

Pey-Hua Hwang contributed to the writing of this story.