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Airport to Cambridge
photogeek
crschmidt
(Just checked in code, so I'm feeling confident I can take a 5 minute break.)

Patty asked how to get from Logan Airpot to Cambridge. This one, luckily, is super-easy :)

If you're feeling rich, or have a lot of bags, take a cab. Tell the cabbie to take you to Cambridge -- if he/she asks for a route, tell 'im to take 90 to get there. Depending where in Cambridge, telling them "Central Square" may work well -- a lot of the tech conferences are at the Hotel@MIT, which is just down the street from Central Square (down Mass Ave). Also, coincidentally, it's literally across the street from where I work :) A cab ride to Cambridge will cost about $30 from the Airport, with tip.

If you're feeling less rich, and don't have a ton of luggage, then you're going to want to take the "Silver Line". The Silver Line is a bus that runs from the airport to various subway stops: OpenStreetMap shows it relatively nicely. You're going to take that to South Station: from there, you're looking to get on the Red Line heading towards Alewife. You do not want to be going towards Braintree or Ashmont. The Silver Line will dump you at Surface level -- you're looking for the Subway tunnel out in front of the South Station Train Station.

Once you're on the Red Line, you'll likely be looking for Kendall/MIT, Central Square, or Harvard, depending where your target is.

The Silver Line to Red Line route is really easy, and almost everyone I know takes it. (Jess usually insists on picking me up, so I don't take it that often. :)) It shouldn't be too difficult to follow, and is The Way to get to Cambridge from the Airport.

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Interesting.

The last time I went from Logan Airport to Cambridge, I remember it went something like this.

I took a subway line into town (OpenStreetMap suggests it was probably the Blue Line) to a kind of square of four subway interchange stations; unfortunately, since none of the four were served by both the Blue Line and the red one, I had to get off either (IIRC) at the top right one or top left one, then go south one stop, and then continue (from the bottom right and bottom left one, respectively), on the Red Line.

I think I went top left to bottom left, and then took the Red Line to Kendall/MIT.

Judging by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:MBTA_Boston_subway_map.png, that meant I took the Green Line from Government Center to Park St, with the alternative having been taking the Orange Line from State St to Downtown Crossing.

On the other hand, this was in ca. 1993-94, apparently well before the advent of the Silver Line.

Given your comment that the Silver Line is The Way to get to Cambridge from the Airport, what is its advantage over the route I took? The fewer number of connections? Or is it also faster/more convenient/cheaper/something else?

Fewer number of connections is the big one. Fewer number of connections also leads to it being faster -- the Boston subway system doesn't typically run at regular intervals like the NYC subway, so to go the 3-ish blocks you'd have to go from Blue -> Red (on the green line) could well lead to a 10 minute wait, and another 10 min at the Red Line :)

http://boston.freemap.in/?zoom=8&lat=900917.15496&lon=236156.23421&layers=B

Shows that transfer, which is long enough to get you cold in the winter, and short enough to be really annoying when you have to wait for it :)


Does the Blue Line still run to the airport then? Many moons ago (Feb/March 2000) it was the way to get out of the airport if not using a car. I got the impression this year that it had been replaced by the Silver Line bus rather than competing with it.

D

Yep, the Blue Line still goes out there. The Silver line doesn't go to any other Subway lines than the Red Line at South Station, so for some trips, the Blue Line makes more sense than the Silver Line does. Airport is the station there, and there's a shuttle out from the Airport to the Blue Line.

You sure the Silver Line drops you off at the surface? There's a bus concourse underground that I always see lots of people with lots of luggage getting off at (I always wondered how buses get underground...). From there, it's one flight of stairs down to the Red Line. Coming from inbound Silver Line buses, Red Line Inbound (to Cambridge) is on the right, while Red Line Outbound (to JFK/Umass) is on the left.

Ah! No, I could be totally wrong. I couldn't remember a spot underground where the Silver Line went -- but looking around some more, it does seem like you're right that it's underground! Which makes it even easier :)

It's the concourse, which is one level above the red line itself, and one level below the south station T lobby. You are already in the T system when you exit the silver line and don't have to pay any more fares, etc.

For those nervous about missing their stop, South Station is in the stretch of underground stops, and after (by a stop or two if I recall right) the Courthouse stop. It's usually dead obvious that you've arrived at South Station with all the folks getting on and off, etc.

I have taken the silver line to the airport many times, and plan to do so again when I have a trip Thursday.

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