If you've ever driven into Boston on the Massachusetts Turnpike (a.k.a. the Mass Pike or I-90), you know... it's an easy drive right up until you reach Boston city limits. Then, the last few miles, you're gripping the steering wheel with all you've got, holding your breath changing lanes, inching along in traffic, watching the clock on your dashboard because you're late to an event or meeting, and dreading shelling out big bucks for parking. And you're probably thinking, "There has to be a better way!"
There is. If you're traveling to Boston from the west, the trip becomes a joy when you park on the Mass Pike instead and take the train to Boston. If you've vowed many times while navigating those last few miles to figure out the best place to exit the Mass Pike, park, and ride into the city on an MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) commuter rail line, here are step-by-step instructions for how to save money and reduce stress by parking on the Mass Pike and taking the T into Boston.
Park at Riverside T Station
Step 1 is simple. Instead of programming your GPS to take you to your Boston destination, enter: 333 Grove Street, Newton, MA. That's the address for the Riverside T Station.
Or, follow these directions: From the eastbound Mass Pike, take Exit 14 for I-95 S/MA-128 S. Then, take Exit 21B-22, and merge (turn right) onto Grove Street. The entrance to the Riverside T Station will be on your left.
Riverside Station is 1-1/2 hours from Hartford, 2 hours from Brattleboro and 2-1/2 hours from Albany.
Parking at Riverside Station is so much more affordable than parking at garages and lots in downtown Boston. As of 2019, parking at Riverside is $6 daily using PayByPhone.com. Compare that to the rates charged at the Garage at Post Office Square in the heart of Boston, which start at $9 for less than 30 minutes, and you'll never want to drive into the city again!
And with parking spaces for 731 vehicles, you shouldn't ever have to worry that the parking lot at Riverside T Station will be full when you arrive.
Where Exactly Is Riverside Station?
Riverside T Station is located at the western terminus of Boston's Green Line on the D Branch. Use a Green Line map to help you make sense of your location.
Popular stops along the Green Line include Fenway Park, the Prudential Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hynes Convention Center, Copley Square, North Station, the TD Garden, the Museum of Science, Boston College, Northeastern University and Boston University. The Green Line also connects with the Red, Orange and Blue Lines.
How to Take the T
Once you've safely parked and locked your car at Riverside T station, proceed to the automated fare vending machines located near the train track to purchase your CharlieTicket. These machines accept debit or credit cards, cash, and coins.
Alternatively, you can use the MBTA's free mTicket app to purchase your train fare anywhere, anytime, on your mobile device.
As of January 2019, you can travel on the Green, Blue, Orange, Red, and part of the Silver Line between any stations for the same price: $2.75 per ride with a CharlieTicket. Up to two children under 12 ride free with an adult.
Wait for Your Departing Train
Proceed to the platform at the Riverside T Station to await your train. How frequently do trains depart from Riverside? During the weekday rush hour, it's every 6 minutes. The longest you should have to wait is 13 minutes in the late night hours. Trains operate from 4:56 a.m. to 12:05 a.m.
If you're wondering how long it will take to reach your ultimate destination in Boston, use the MBTA's handy Trip Planner to map out your trip. The Trip Planner will also help you figure out how to connect to other rail/subway lines and buses and alert you to any disruptions in service. Print your itinerary, and you can head into Boston on the T with confidence.