Boston Marathon Guide
About the Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon draws thousands of runners and spectators each year. The 125th Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, October 11, 2021. There will also be a virtual race the weekend of October 8 – 10, 2021.
Take the T to the Marathon
The MBTA may adjust service or temporarily close stations near the finish line in the interest of public safety on Marathon Monday.
Getting to the Finish Line
For spectators and runners, the finish line is the heart of the Boston Marathon—both before, during, and after the race. Located near the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street, there are several MBTA subway and bus stops nearby.
In the interest of safety, security restrictions and MBTA service adjustments may be in place the day of the marathon.
Viewing locations along the route
Many of the best viewing (and cheering!) spots along the route are accessible from the T. Parts of the Framingham/Worcester Line are less than a half mile from the course, and the Green Line C Branch runs parallel to it.
Find a T stop near your viewing spot below, and then use our trip planner to find out how to get there.
Getting to the starting line
Official transportation to the starting line for marathon participants is provided by the Boston Athletic Association. Buses leave from Charles Street, between Boston Common and the Public Garden.
The first buses load at 7:15 AM, and MBTA service starts around 5 AM.
Paying for Your Trip
We recommend loading enough money on a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket early in the day, and paying with a credit or debit card to reduce lines in stations.
We are also offering a $15 Marathon Pass for Commuter Rail. The unlimited all-day pass is valid for all Commuter Rail lines and zones.
On Marathon Day, we recommend loading at least $5 on a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket—this is enough for a round trip on the subway. We encourage paying with a credit or debit card to reduce lines in stations.
Here all week? Our 7-day LinkPasses are $21.25—equal to the cost of about nine subway trips—and provide unlimited travel for a week from the date of purchase. You can buy them at fare vending machines at subway stations.
We recommend buying tickets or passes in the mTicket app to reduce lines at stations. Tickets are also available at fare vending machines in subway and some Commuter Rail stations, or from conductors on board the train with cash or credit.
An all-day $15 Marathon Pass is valid for all Commuter Rail lines and zones, with unlimited hop-on and hop-off travel. Passes are available in the mTicket app and at ticket windows at North, South, and Back Bay stations. Note, this pass is not valid for the subway and bus.
Did you know? If you’re in town the weekend before the marathon and interested in exploring the area, a $10 weekend pass is valid for unlimited travel on all Commuter Rail lines in all zones on Saturday and Sunday.
Choose your origin and destination to calculate your fare with our Trip Planner.
Driving to the finish line or other spectator areas is not recommended. Parking restrictions along the route may be in place leading up to and on the day of the marathon.
You can park at an MBTA station and take the subway or Commuter Rail in. Daily parking rates are $2 – $15, and you can pay in cash, credit, or on your phone.
Tip! Check parking availability at some of the busiest MBTA garages on Twitter @MBTA_Parking.
Etiquette and Safety
To ensure your safety along the course, additional MBTA staff and Transit Police will be available at MBTA stations throughout the day. Please follow these guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.
A number of items are prohibited along the marathon route. Read the official spectator guidelines for more information.
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed on trains, buses, or at any stations.
- If you are wearing a backpack, remove it and hold it at your side or set it between your feet.
- Let passengers off the train before you board.
- Leave large items like bags, coolers, and strollers at home.
- Bikes (including folding bikes) are not allowed on the subway or Framingham/Worcester Line on the day of the marathon. Bikes are also restricted on the Framingham/Worcester Line starting at 8 PM on Sunday, April 14.
Additional MBTA Transit Police officers will be available in and near stations throughout the day. If you need assistance, please report directly to a uniformed official.
As Massachusetts reopens following the pandemic, we’re committed to keeping you safe on public transportation.