List of MBTA bus routes

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Geographic map of MBTA Bus service

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus division operates bus routes in the Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area. All routes connect to MBTA subway, MBTA Commuter Rail, and/or other MBTA Bus services. Many routes are descendants of the streetcar routes of the Boston Elevated Railway, or of suburban companies including the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, Middlesex and Boston Street Railway, and Newton and Boston Street Railway.

Silver LineEdit

A Silver Line bus leaves the Waterfront Tunnel on the SL1 route

The Silver Line is a bus rapid transit system marketed as rapid transit. It is divided into two branches: Waterfront service (SL1, SL2, SL3, and the rush-hour Shuttle) that runs through the South Boston Transitway tunnel, and Washington Street service (SL4 and SL5) that runs on the surface via Washington Street. The Waterfront service costs the same as a subway fare, while the Washington Street service costs a regular bus fare.

The SL5 route was created in 2002 as a replacement for the Washington Street Elevated. The Shuttle route began operations in 2004, followed by the SL2 and SL3 (former) in 2004 and SL1 in 2005 when dual-mode buses became available. The SL4 was introduced in 2009 as a replacement for the canceled Phase III tunnel. A new SL3 route to Chelsea opened in 2018.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
SL1 Logan Airport - South Station Link
SL2 Design Center - South Station Link
SL3 Chelsea Station - South Station Link
Shuttle Silver Line Way - South Station
SL4 Dudley Station - South Station at Essex Street Link
SL5 Dudley Station - Downtown Crossing at Temple Place Link


A CT2 bus leaves Sullivan station in 2007

The crosstown (CT) buses provide limited-stop service on two routes that connect major subway and bus transfer points. The routes were created by the MBTA in 1994.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
CT2 Sullivan Square - Ruggles Link
CT3 Beth Israel Deaconess or Boston Medical Center - Andrew Link


Two #1 buses at Central Square, Cambridge
#7 and #448 buses at Downtown Crossing
A #39 bus on Huntington Avenue at Northeastern University
A bus on the #43 route, one of the last to be converted from streetcar to bus
A #59 bus leaving Watertown Square
A Boston Elevated Railway bus on either the #60 or since-discontinued #58 route arrives at Kenmore Square in the 1940s
A #70 bus at Central Square, Cambridge
A #77A trolleybus on Massachusetts Avenue
A #89 bus on Broadway in Somerville
A #91 bus leaving Sullivan Square station
A #101 bus on Main Street in Somerville

These routes provide almost all local service in the core of the metropolitan area; most were originally Boston Elevated Railway streetcar routes. They were originally numbered roughly clockwise from southeast to northeast, with 4 the furthest south in South Boston and 121 the furthest north (roughly) in East Boston. The BERy folded into the Metropolitan Transit Authority in 1947, and the M.T.A. in turn was reorganized as the MBTA in 1964. Despite some changes, including minor routes being merged into trunk routes, the core service network has remained roughly intact since the BERy eta. Several new routes, including the 1, 5, and 47, have been added during the M.T.A. and MBTA eras.[1]

Seven routes - the 52, 59, 62, 67, 70, 70A, and 76 - serve more distant western suburbs, such as Belmont, Lexington, and Needham; most were acquired from the Middlesex and Boston Street Railway in 1972, and subsequently renumbered using previously discontinued designations.[1]

Fifteen of these routes (those with the highest ridership in the system) are designated as key bus routes; they supplement the subway system to provide frequent service to the densest areas of the city. Key bus routes typically operate at higher frequencies than their undesignated cousins, and in March 2014 their hours of service were extended until 2:30AM on Friday and Saturday nights along with the rapid transit system.[2] In mid-2015, late-night service on some key bus routes was cut back, while other routes were dropped from late-night service.

Key bus routes are designated on this list with an *.

Route Description MBTA link
1* Harvard - Dudley via Massachusetts Avenue Link
4 North Station - Tide Street Link
7 City Point - Downtown Boston Link
8 Harbor Point/UMass - Kenmore Link
9 City Point - Copley via Broadway Station Link
10 City Point - Copley via Boston Medical Center Link
11 City Point - Downtown Boston Link
14 Roslindale Square - Heath Street Link
15* Kane Square - Ruggles Link
16 Forest Hills - Andrew or Harbor Point Link
17 Fields Corner - Andrew via Uphams Corner Link
18 Ashmont - Andrew Link
19 Fields Corner - Kenmore or Ruggles Link
21 Ashmont - Forest Hills Link
22* Ashmont - Ruggles via Jackson Square Link
23* Ashmont - Ruggles via Washington Street Link
24 Wakefield Avenue & Truman Parkway - Mattapan or Ashmont Link
26 Ashmont - Gallivan Boulevard Link
27 Mattapan - Ashmont Link
28* Mattapan - Ruggles Link
29 Mattapan - Jackson Square Link
30 Mattapan - Forest Hills via Roslindale Square Link
31 Mattapan - Forest Hills via Morton Street Link
32* Wolcott Square - Forest Hills Link
33 River Street & Milton Street, Dedham - Mattapan Link
34 Dedham Line or Dedham Mall - Forest Hills Link
34E Walpole - Forest Hills Link
35 Dedham Mall - Forest Hills Link
36 Millennium Park or VA Hospital - Forest Hills Link
37 Baker Street & Vermont Street - Forest Hills Link
38 Wren Street - Forest Hills Link
39* Forest Hills - Back Bay Station Link
40 Georgetowne - Forest Hills Link
41 Centre Street & Eliot Street - JFK/UMass Station Link
42 Forest Hills - Dudley Link
43 Ruggles - Downtown Boston Link
44 Jackson Square - Ruggles Link
45 Franklin Park - Ruggles Link
47 Central Square, Cambridge - Broadway Station Link
50 Cleary Square - Forest Hills Link
51 Reservoir - Forest Hills Link
52 Dedham Mall - Watertown Yard Link
55 Jersey Street & Queensberry Street - Downtown Boston Link
57* Watertown Yard - Kenmore Link
57A Oak Square - Kenmore Station Link
59 Needham Junction - Watertown Square Link
60 Chestnut Hill - Kenmore Link
61 North Waltham - Waltham Center Link
62 Bedford VA Hospital - Alewife Link
64 Oak Square - University Park or Kendall/MIT Link
65 Brighton - Kenmore Link
66* Harvard - Dudley via Allston Link
67 Turkey Hill - Alewife Link
68 Harvard - Kendall/MIT Link
69 Harvard - Lechmere Link
70 Market Place Drive or Waltham Center - Central Square, Cambridge Link
71* Watertown Square - Harvard Link
72 Aberdeen Avenue - Harvard Link
73* Waverley Square - Harvard Link
74 Belmont Center - Harvard via Concord Avenue Link
75 Belmont Center - Harvard via Fresh Pond Parkway Link
76 Lincoln Lab/Hanscom Air Force Base - Alewife Link
77* Arlington Heights - Harvard Link
78 Arlmont Village - Harvard Link
79 Arlington Heights - Alewife Link
80 Arlington Center - Lechmere Link
83 Rindge Avenue - Central Square, Cambridge Link
84 Arlmont Village - Alewife Link
85 Spring Hill - Kendall/MIT Link
86 Sullivan - Reservoir Link
87 Clarendon Hill or Arlington Center - Lechmere via Somerville Avenue Link
88 Clarendon Hill - Lechmere via Highland Avenue Link
89 Clarendon Hill or Davis - Sullivan Link
90 Davis - Assembly Link
91 Sullivan - Central Square, Cambridge Link
92 Sullivan - Downtown Boston Link
93 Sullivan - Downtown Boston Link
94 Medford Square - Davis Link
95 West Medford or Arlington Center - Sullivan Link
96 Medford Square - Harvard Link
97 Malden Center - Wellington Link
99 Woodland Road, Stoneham - Wellington Link
100 Elm Street - Wellington Link
101 Malden Center - Sullivan via Winter Hill Link
104 Malden Center - Sullivan via Ferry Street Link
105 Malden Center - Sullivan via Newland Street Housing Link
106 Lebanon Street, Malden - Wellington Link
108 Linden Square - Wellington Link
109 Linden Square - Sullivan Link
110 Wonderland - Wellington Link
111* Woodlawn - Haymarket Link
112 Wellington - Wood Island Link
114 Chelsea - Maverick Link
116* Wonderland - Maverick via Revere Street Link
117* Wonderland - Maverick via Beach Street Link
119 Northgate Shopping Center - Beachmont Link
120 Orient Heights - Jeffries Point Link
121 Wood Island - Maverick Link


A #131 bus passing Melrose Highlands station

Numbers from 131 to 137 operate in the Melrose area; their routings are based on routes operated as part of the former Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, which was folded into the MBTA system in 1968. The 136 and 137 were briefly operated as far as Lowell and Lawrence, their original Eastern Mass terminals, while under MBTA control. The 132 was a Service Bus Lines route which was not operated by the MBTA until 1975.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
131 Melrose Highlands - Oak Grove Link
132 Redstone Shopping Center - Malden Center Link
134 North Woburn - Wellington Link
136 Reading Depot - Malden Center via Lowell Street Link
137 Reading Depot - Malden Center via North Avenue Link


A Dudley-bound route 170 bus (signed NO STOPS) at Back Bay station in 2017

170 and 171 are special low-service routes, the 170 a variant of the 70 introduced in 1968 and the 171 a replacement for early morning CT3 service when it was cut back from Logan Airport in 2002. Other numbers in the 170s were used for largely short-lived routes serving industrial areas.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
170 Waltham - Dudley Link
171 Logan Airport - Dudley Link


Routes from 191 to 194 are single round trips in the early morning, mainly meant for subway fare collectors but open to the public. They were introduced by the M.T.A. in 1960.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
191 Mattapan - Haymarket Link
192 Cleary Square - Haymarket Link
193 Watertown Yard - Haymarket Link
194 Clarendon Hill - Haymarket Link


Route 195 is a special low-service route not open to the general public nor shown on MBTA maps. It connects downtown Boston with the homeless shelter at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Until September 2015, the route was numbered 277 to match routes 274-276 (which connected downtown Boston to the Long Island Health Campus and were suspended due to the closure of Long Island Bridge in October 2014.)[1]

Route Description MBTA link
195 Shattuck Hospital - Downtown Boston Link


The 20 belt route was created by the M.T.A. in 1962 as a combination of the 20 and 21 stub routes inherited from BERy. In 2005, the MBTA redesignated the two directions of the loop as the 201 and 202 to avoid confusion about which way each bus ran.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
201 Fields Corner Loop via Neponset Avenue Link
202 Fields Corner Loop via Adams Street Link


These routes operate in the Quincy area. Routes 210-245 are based on routes originally operated by the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway (folded into the MBTA in 1968) which mostly ran into Fields Corner station. When the Red Line's Braintree Branch opened in the 1970s, these routes were rerouted to terminate at the new rapid transit stations (principally Quincy Center).[1]

A #214 bus (with #230 and #211 buses behind) at Quincy Center station
A #225 bus at Quincy Center station
Route Description MBTA link
210 Quincy Center - Fields Corner Link
211 Quincy Center - Squantum Link
212 Quincy Center - North Quincy Link
214 Germantown - Quincy Center Link
215 Quincy Center - Ashmont via West Quincy Link
216 Houghs Neck - Quincy Center Link
217 Quincy Center - Ashmont via Wollaston Link
220 Hingham Depot - Quincy Center Link
221 Fort Point - Quincy Center Link
222 East Weymouth - Quincy Center Link
225 Weymouth Landing - Quincy Center Link
226 Columbian Square - Braintree Link
230 Montello Commuter Rail Station - Quincy Center Link
236 South Shore Plaza - Quincy Center Link
238 Holbrook/Randolph Commuter Rail Station - Quincy Center Link
240 Avon Square - Ashmont Link
245 Quincy Center - Mattapan via Quarry Street & Edge Hill Road Link


A #326 bus in Medford in July 2015

These routes operate express between Medford and downtown Boston. They were introduced by the MBTA in June 1973.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
325 Elm Street - Haymarket Link
326 West Medford - Haymarket Link


A #354 bus on Salem Street in Woburn

These routes operate in the Burlington area. They are the remains of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway's Lowell Division, which was inherited intact by the MBTA in 1968 and gradually declined thereafter.[1]

Route Description MBTA link
350 North Burlington - Alewife Link
351 Oak Park/Bedford Woods - Alewife Link
352 North Burlington - Downtown Boston Link
354 Burlington - Downtown Boston Link


These routes operate in the Lynn area and the North Shore. Two routes that run to Haymarket have weekend short-turn variants (labeled with a W suffix) that terminate at Wonderland. The 411 and 430 were Service Bus Lines routes that were acquired by the MBTA in 1975; the other routes are largely Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway routes acquired in 1968.[1]

A route 430 bus leaving Malden Center station
A route 451 bus on Route 1A in Salem
Route Description MBTA link
411 Kennedy Drive or Jack Satter House - Malden Center Link
424 Eastern Avenue & Essex Street - Wonderland Link
426 Central Square, Lynn - Haymarket via Cliftondale Square Link
426W Central Square, Lynn - Wonderland via Cliftondale Square Link
428 Oaklandvale - Haymarket Link
429 Northgate Shopping Center - Central Square, Lynn Link
430 Saugus Center - Malden Center Link
434 Main Street, Peabody - Haymarket via Goodwin Circle Link
435 Liberty Tree Mall - Central Square, Lynn or Neptune Towers via Peabody Square Link
436 Liberty Tree Mall - Central Square, Lynn via Goodwin Circle Link
439 Bass Point, Nahant - Central Square, Lynn Link
441 Marblehead - Wonderland via Paradise Road Link
442 Marblehead - Wonderland via Humphrey Street Link
450 Salem Depot - Haymarket Link
450W Salem Depot - Wonderland Link
451 North Beverly - Salem Depot Link
455 Salem Depot - Wonderland Link
456 Salem Depot - Central Square, Lynn Link
465 Danvers Square - Salem Depot Link


These routes operate express between Newton and downtown Boston via the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). The 500 series routes were created by the MBTA in the 1960s to take advantage of the newly constructed turnpike extension into Boston. The 550 series routes were Middlesex and Boston Street Railway routes to Newton Corner that were extended to downtown Boston in the 1960s and taken over by the MBTA in 1972.[1]

A #502 bus (with a #10 behind) at Copley Square
Route Description MBTA link
501 Brighton - Downtown Boston Link
502 Watertown Yard - Copley Link
503 Brighton - Copley Link
504 Watertown Yard - Downtown Boston Link
505 Waltham Center - Downtown Boston Link
553 Roberts - Downtown Boston Link
554 Waverley Square - Downtown Boston Link
556 Waltham Highlands - Downtown Boston Link
558 Riverside - Downtown Boston Link

Privately operated routesEdit

A Paul Revere Transportation bus operating the #712 route at Orient Heights station in 2015
A Blue Hill Bus Lines vehicle on the Canton - Mattapan route in 1967. This route went through several different operators and was designated as the #716 in 1999.[1]

The MBTA provides partial subsidy for some suburban routes outside its usual service area that connect with MBTA bus, subway, or commuter rail service. Routes 710-716 are radial commuter routes that accept MBTA passes on CharlieTickets only; they were taken over from various private operators (Hudson Bus Lines for the 710 and 716, Rapid Transit Inc. for the 712/713, and Nantasket Transportation for the 714).[1]

The non-numbered routes (listed here by their designator on MBTA maps) are local circulator services founded by the municipalities with partial MBTA subsidy.[1] All are operated by private companies under contract, except for the Beverly Shuttle which is operated by the Cape Ann Transportation Authority.

Route Description MBTA link
710 North Medford - Medford Square, Meadow Glen Mall, or Wellington Link
712 Point Shirley, Winthrop - Orient Heights via Revere Street Link
713 Point Shirley, Winthrop - Orient Heights via Winthrop Center Link
714 Pemberton Point, Hull - Hingham Link
716 Cobbs Corner - Mattapan Link
BED Bedford Local Transit Link
BEV City of Beverly Shuttle Link
BUR Burlington Public Transit Link
LEX Lexington Lexpress (6 routes) Link
MIS Mission Hill LINK Link


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  2. ^ "Service Delivery Policy" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 13 July 2006. pp. 3, 26–27. Retrieved 24 July 2014.

External linksEdit