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Beginner's Guide to the Commuter Rail

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Whether you’re trying to plan your commute to work or you just want to get out of the city for a bit, the Commuter Rail offers easy connections to and from Boston and the surrounding communities.

During your trip, don’t hesitate to ask Commuter Rail conductors or MBTA staff for assistance.

Getting to Know the Commuter Rail

Commuter Rail train at the platform

Wherever you’re trying to go in eastern Massachusetts, the Commuter Rail can get you there. Here are some basics of the system to help you get the most out of your trip.

Choosing the Right Commuter Rail Pass

commuter rail mticket mobile app

Commuter Rail stations are located within Zones, numbered 1A – 10, based on how far they are from Boston. Commuter Rail fares are determined by the Zones you are traveling to and from. 

A 1-way ticket costs between $2.25 – $12.50. Round trip, 10-ride, and monthly passes are also available. Reduced fares are available for eligible riders.

Navigating Commuter Rail Stations

south station departures board

If you’ve never taken a Commuter Rail trip before, you may be wondering what the stations are like. They’re a little different than subway stations, but they’re pretty simple once you get used to them. 

Here are some common questions about catching a train on a Commuter Rail route.

On the Train

commuter rail to wareham

We hope your journey on the Commuter Rail is a comfortable one—we even offer free WiFi on some trains—but during rush hour and big events, trains can get crowded. We ask customers to follow a few rules to ensure the comfort and safety of everyone on board.

Popular Destinations

commuter rail on bridge ashland

The Commuter Rail is a great way to take a day trip to some of the most beautiful parts of New England—without worrying about traffic or parking. 

Here are some of the most popular destinations for day trips on the Commuter Rail. Please note that some of these routes are seasonal. 

Planning an Accessible Trip

south station information desk

Many Commuter Rail stations are accessible to people with disabilities, and we offer trip planning assistance to help you get the most out of your journey on the MBTA. 

If you are a senior or person with a disability, you may be eligible for reduced fares.

More Guides

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Winter Guide Clickable Graphic
Subway Guide clickable graphic
Bus Guide Clickable Graphic