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 Line[edit]

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 Link
SL4 Dudley Station - South Station at Essex Street Link
SL5 Dudley Station - Downtown Crossing at Temple Place Link


A CT2 bus leaves Sullivan station

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

Route Description MBTA link
CT1 Central Square, Cambridge - B.U. Medical Center/Boston Medical Center via M.I.T. Link
CT2 Sullivan Station - Ruggles Station via Kendall/MIT Link
CT3 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Andrew Station via B.U. Medical Center 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/Holyoke Gate - Dudley Station via Massachusetts Avenue Link
4 North Station - World Trade Center via Federal Courthouse & South Station Link
5 City Point - McCormack Housing via Andrew Station Link
7 City Point - Otis & Summer Streets via Summer Street & South Station Link
8 Harbor Point/UMass - Kenmore Station via B.U. Medical Center & Dudley Station Link
9 City Point - Copley Square via Broadway Station Link
10 City Point - Copley Square via Andrew Station & B.U. Medical Center Link
11 City Point - Downtown BayView Route Link
14 Roslindale Square - Heath Street via Dudley Station, Grove Hall & Jackson Square Station Link
15* Kane Square or Fields Corner Station - Ruggles Station via Uphams Corner Link
16 Forest Hills Station - Andrew Station or UMass via Columbia Road Link
17 Fields Corner Station - Andrew Station via Uphams Corner & Edward Everett Square Link
18 Ashmont Station - Andrew Station via Fields Corner Station Link
19 Fields Corner Station - Kenmore or Ruggles Station via Grove Hall & Dudley Station Link
21 Ashmont Station - Forest Hills Station via Morton Street Link
22* Ashmont Station - Ruggles Station via Talbot Avenue & Jackson Square Link
23* Ashmont Station - Ruggles Station via Washington Street Link
24 Wakefield Avenue & Truman Highway - Mattapan or Ashmont Station via River Street Link
26 Ashmont Station - Norfolk & Morton Belt Line Link
27 Mattapan Station - Ashmont Station via River Street Link
28* Mattapan Station - Ruggles Station via Dudley Station Link
29 Mattapan Station - Jackson Square Station via Seaver Street & Columbus Avenue Link
30 Mattapan Station - Forest Hills Station via Cummins Highway & Roslindale Square Link
31 Mattapan Station - Forest Hills Station via Morton Street Link
32* Wolcott Square or Cleary Square - Forest Hills Station via Hyde Park Avenue Link
33 Dedham Line - Mattapan Station via River Street Link
34 Walpole Center or Dedham Line - Forest Hills Station via Washington Street Link
34E Walpole Center - Forest Hills Station via Washington Street Link
35 Dedham Mall/Stimson Street - Forest Hills Station via Belgrade Avenue & Centre Street Link
36 Charles River Loop, V.A. Hospital, Rivermoor or Millennium Park - Forest Hills Station via Belgrade Avenue & Centre Street Link
37 Baker & Vermont Streets - Forest Hills Station via Belgrade Avenue & Centre Street Link
38 Wren Street - Forest Hills Station via Centre & South Streets Link
39* Forest Hills Station - Back Bay Station via Huntington Avenue Link
40 Georgetowne - Forest Hills Station via Washington Street & West Boundary Road Link
41 Centre & Eliot Street - JFK/UMass Station via Dudley Station, Centre Street & Jackson Square Station Link
42 Forest Hills Station - Dudley or Ruggles Station via Washington Street Link
43 Ruggles Station - Park & Tremont Streets via Tremont Street Link
44 Jackson Square Station - Ruggles Station via Seaver Street & Humboldt Avenue Link
45 Franklin Park Zoo - Ruggles Station via Blue Hill Avenue Link
47 Central Square, Cambridge - Broadway Station via B.U. Medical Center, Dudley Station & Longwood Medical Area Link
50 Cleary Square - Forest Hills Station via Roslindale Square Link
51 Cleveland Circle - Forest Hills Station via Hancock Village Link
52 Dedham Mall or Charles River Loop - Watertown Yard via Oak Hill & Newton Center Link
55 Jersey & Queensberry - Copley Square or Park & Tremont Street via Ipswich Street Link
57* Watertown Yard - Kenmore Station via Newton Corner & Brighton Center Link
57A Oak Square - Kenmore Station via Commonwealth Avenue Link
59 Needham Junction - Watertown Square via Newtonville Link
60 Chestnut Hill - Kenmore Station via Brookline Village & Cypress Street Link
62 Bedford V.A. Hospital - Alewife Station via Lexington Center & Arlington Heights Link
64 Oak Square - University Park, Cambridge or Kendall/MIT via North Beacon Street Link
65 Brighton Center - Kenmore Station via Washington Street, Brookline Village & Brookline Avenue Link
66* Harvard Square - Dudley Station via Allston & Brookline Village Link
67 Turkey Hill - Alewife Station via Arlington Center Link
68 Harvard/Holyoke Gate - Kendall/M.I.T. via Broadway Link
69 Harvard/Holyoke Gate - Lechmere Station via Cambridge Street Link
70 Cedarwood, Market Place Drive, or Central Square, Waltham - University Park Link
70A North Waltham - University Park via Watertown Square and Central Square, Cambridge Link
71* Watertown Square - Harvard Station via Mt. Auburn Street Link
72 Huron Avenue - Harvard Station via Concord Avenue Link
73* Waverley Square - Harvard Station via Trapelo Road Link
74 Belmont Center - Harvard Station via Concord Avenue Link
75 Belmont Center - Harvard Station via Concord Avenue Link
76 Hanscom/Lincoln Labs - Alewife Station via Lexington Center & Civil Air Terminal Link
77* Arlington Heights - Harvard Station via Massachusetts Avenue Link
77A North Cambridge Carhouse - Harvard Station Link
78 Arlmont Village - Harvard Station via Park Circle Link
79 Arlington Heights - Alewife Station via Massachusetts Avenue Link
80 Arlington Center - Lechmere Station via Medford Hillside Link
83 Rindge Avenue - Central Square, Cambridge via Porter Square Station Link
84 Arlmont Village - Alewife Station Link
85 Spring Hill - Kendall/M.I.T. Station via Summer Street & Union Square Link
86 Sullivan Square Station - Reservoir (Cleveland Circle) via Harvard/Johnston Gate Link
87 Arlington Center or Clarendon Hill - Lechmere Station via Somerville Avenue Link
88 Clarendon Hill - Lechmere Station via Highland Avenue Link
89 Clarendon Hill or Davis Square - Sullivan Square Station via Broadway Link
90 Davis Square - Wellington Station via Sullivan Square Station & Assembly Mall Link
91 Sullivan Square Station - Central Square, Cambridge via Washington Street Link
92 Assembly Square Mall - Downtown via Sullivan Square Station, Main Street & Haymarket Station Link
93 Sullivan Square Station - Downtown via Bunker Hill Street & Haymarket Station Link
94 Medford Square - Davis Square Station via West Medford & Medford Hillside Link
95 West Medford - Sullivan Square Station via Mystic Avenue Link
96 Medford Square - Harvard Station via George Street & Davis Square Station Link
97 Malden Center Station - Wellington Station via Commercial & Hancock Streets Link
99 Boston Regional Medical Center - Wellington Station via Main Street & Malden Center Station Link
100 Elm Street - Wellington Station via Fellsway Link
101 Malden Center Station - Sullivan Square Station via Salem Street, Main Street & Broadway Link
104 Malden Center Station - Sullivan Square Station via Ferry Street & Broadway Link
105 Malden Center Station - Sullivan Square Station via Newland Street Housing Link
106 Lebanon Street, Malden or Franklin Square - Wellington Station via Main Street Link
108 Linden Square - Wellington Station via Malden Center Station & Highland Avenue Link
109 Linden Square - Sullivan Square Station via Glendale Square Link
110 Wonderland or Broadway & Park Avenue - Wellington Station via Park Avenue & Woodlawn Link
111* Woodlawn or Broadway & Park Avenue - Haymarket Station via Mystic River/Tobin Bridge Link
112 Wellington Station - Wood Island Station via Central Avenue, Mystic Mall & Admiral's Hill Link
114 Bellingham Square - Maverick Station Link
116* Wonderland Station - Maverick Station via Revere Street Link
117* Wonderland Station - Maverick Station via Beach Street Link
119 Northgate - Beachmont Station via Revere Center & Cooledge Housing Link
120 Orient Heights Station - Maverick Station via Bennington Street, Jeffries Point & Waldemar Loop Link
121 Wood Island Station - Maverick Station via Lexington Street 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 - Malden Center Station via Oak Grove Station Link
132 Redstone Shopping Center - Malden Station Link
134 North Woburn - Wellington Station via Woburn Square, Winchester Center, & Meadow Glen Mall Link
136 Reading Depot - Malden Station via Wakefield, Melrose & Oak Grove Station Link
137 Reading Depot - Malden Station via North Avenue, Wakefield, Melrose & Oak Grove Station 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 Central Square, Waltham - Dudley Square Link
171 Dudley Station - Logan Airport via Andrew Station 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 via Ashmont, Fields Corner and Dudley Station Link
192 Cleary Square - Haymarket via Forest Hills and Copley Square Link
193 Watertown Yard - Haymarket via Kenmore Station Link
194 Clarendon Hill - Haymarket via Sullivan Square Station 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 Lemuel Shattuck Hospital - Downtown Boston via Tremont Street


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 or North Quincy Station - Fields Corner via Neponset Avenue to Adams Street Link
202 Fields Corner or North Quincy Station - Fields Corner via Adams Street to Neponset Avenue 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 Station - North Quincy Station or Fields Corner Station via Hancock Street & Neponset Avenue Link
211 Quincy Center Station - Squantum via Montclair & North Quincy Station Link
212 Quincy Center Station - North Quincy Station via Billings Road Link
214 Quincy Center Station - Germantown via Sea Street & O'Brien Towers Link
215 Quincy Center Station - Ashmont Station via West Quincy & East Milton Square Link
216 Quincy Center Station - Houghs Neck via Sea Street Link
217 Quincy Center Station - Ashmont Station via Beale Street, Wollaston, & East Milton Square Link
220 Quincy Center Station - Hingham Center via Fore River Bridge Link
221 Quincy Center Station - Fort Point via Bicknell Square Link
222 Quincy Center Station - East Weymouth via Bicknell Square Link
225 Quincy Center - Weymouth Landing via Quincy Avenue & Shaw Street or Desmoines Road Link
230 Quincy Center Station - Montello Commuter Rail Station via Holbrook & Braintree Station Link
236 Quincy Center Station - South Shore Plaza via East Braintree & Braintree Station Link
238 Quincy Center Station - Holbrook/Randolph Commuter Rail Station Link
240 Avon Square or Holbrook/Randolph Commuter Rail Station - Ashmont Station via Crawford Square, Randolph Link
245 Quincy Center Station - Mattapan Station via Quincy Hospital & Pleasant Street 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, Medford - Haymarket Station via Fellsway West, Salem Street & I-93 Link
326 West Medford - Haymarket Station via Playstead Road, High Street, Medford & I-93 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 Station via Burlington Mall Link
351 Oak Park/Bedford Woods - Alewife Station via Middlesex Turnpike Link
352 Burlington Express - Boston via Route 128 & I-93 Link
354 Woburn Express - Boston via Woburn Sq. & I-93 Link


These routes operate in the Lynn area and the North Shore. Some routes that run to Haymarket have 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 #451 bus on Route 1A in Salem
A #459 bus on Seaport Boulevard at World Trade Center
Route Description MBTA link
411 Malden Center Station - Revere/Jack Satter House via Granada Highlands and Northgate Link
424 Eastern Avenue & Essex Street - Haymarket Link
424W Eastern Avenue & Essex Street - Wonderland Station Link
426 Central Square, Lynn - Haymarket Station via Cliftondale Link
426W Central Square, Lynn - Wonderland Station via Cliftondale Square Link
428 Oaklandvale - Haymarket Station via Granada Highlands Link
429 Northgate Shopping Center - Central Square, Lynn via Linden Square & Square One Mall Link
430 Saugus Center - Malden Center Station via Square One Mall Link
434 Peabody - Haymarket EXPRESS via Goodwins Circle Link
435 Liberty Tree Mall - Central Square, Lynn or Neptune Towers via Peabody Square Link
436 Liberty Tree Mall - Central Square, Lynn via Goodwins Circle Link
439 Bass Point, Nahant - Wonderland via Central Square, Lynn Link
441 Marblehead - Wonderland via Central Square, Lynn, Paradise Road & Lynnway Link
442 Marblehead - Wonderland via Central Square, Lynn, Humphrey Street & Lynnway Link
448 Marblehead - Downtown Crossing via Paradise Road, Lynnway, & Airport Link
449 Marblehead - Downtown Crossing via Humphrey Street, Lynnway, & Airport Link
450 Salem Depot - Haymarket Link
450W Salem Depot - Wonderland Station Link
451 North Beverly- Salem Depot via Cabot Street or Tozer Road Link
455 Salem Depot - Wonderland via Central Square, Lynn Link
456 Salem Depot - Central Square, Lynn via Highland Avenue Link
459 Salem Depot - Downtown Crossing via Logan Airport & Central Square, Lynn Link
465 Salem Depot - Liberty Tree Mall via Peabody & Danvers 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 Center - Downtown via Oak Square & Massachusetts Turnpike Link
502 Watertown Yard - Copley Square (St. James Avenue at Dartmouth St.) via Newton Corner & Massachusetts Turnpike Link
503 Brighton Center - Copley Square via Oak Square & Massachusetts Turnpike Link
504 Watertown/Newton Corner - Downtown via Massachusetts Turnpike Link
505 Central Square, Waltham - Downtown via Moody Street & Massachusetts Turnpike Link
553 Roberts - Downtown Boston via Central Square, Waltham, Newtonville & Newton Corner Link
554 Waverley Square - Downtown Boston via Bentley College, Central Square, Waltham, Newtonville & Newton Corner Link
556 Waltham Highlands - Downtown Boston via Central Square, Waltham, Newtonville & Newton Corner Link
558 Riverside - Downtown Boston via Newton Corner & Turnpike Link

Privately operated routes[edit]

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 (except for the ex-Hudson Dedham Local Bus, which stopped receiving MBTA subsidy in 2014).[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 Station Link
712 Point Shirley - Orient Heights Link
713 Point Shirley - Orient Heights Link
714 Pemberton Point, Hull - Station Street, Hingham Link
716 Cobbs Corner - Mattapan Station Link
BED Bedford Local Transit Link
BEV City of Beverly Shuttle Link
BUR Burlington Public Transit Link
DED Dedham Local Bus 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 (26 December 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2015" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Service Delivery Policy" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 13 July 2006. pp. 3, 26–27. Retrieved 24 July 2014.

External links[edit]