Boston Marathon Guide
About the Boston Marathon
The oldest marathon in the country, the Boston Marathon draws thousands of runners and spectators each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 124th Boston Marathon was postponed in April and will now take place on September 14, 2020.
Spectators can access almost the entire marathon course on the MBTA. For added convenience, all subway lines and the Silver Line will run additional service before and after the marathon.
We want to ensure your safety along the course. Additional MBTA staff and Transit Police will be available at MBTA stations throughout the day. Here are some other things you should know about using the T on Marathon Monday.
Are you running in the marathon? Learn more about getting to the starting line.
Paying for Your Trip
We offer unlimited travel passes, including a $15 Marathon Pass for Commuter Rail, to help you get around.
We recommend loading enough money on your CharlieCard or CharlieTicket ahead of time, and paying with a credit or debit card, to reduce lines in stations.
For the day of the marathon, we recommend loading enough money on your CharlieCard or CharlieTicket for a round trip on the subway—about $5. We encourage paying with a credit or debit card to reduce lines in stations.
Save time by purchasing a preloaded $5 CharlieCard using a credit or debit card from one of our Transit Ambassadors at Alewife, Back Bay, Braintree, Fenway, Quincy Adams, or Riverside.
For an all-day pass: We offer 1-day passes valid for unlimited subway and bus trips for $12—equal to the cost of about 4 subway trips. You can buy them at fare vending machines at subway stations.
Here all week? Our 7-day LinkPasses are $21.25—equal to the cost of about 9 subway trips. You can buy them at fare vending machines at subway stations.
Buy tickets or passes on the mTicket app, 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. Note, this pass is not valid for the subway and bus.
Get your pass early on the mTicket app (starting April 8) or at ticket windows at North, South, and Bay Back stations (starting April 10). The day of the race, you can get it on board the train, too, with cash or credit.
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.
Driving to the finish line is not recommended. Parking restrictions will be in place throughout Back Bay 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 – $9, and you can pay in cash, credit, or on your phone.
You can check availability at some of the busiest MBTA garages on Twitter @MBTA_Parking.
There are 30,000 official entrants for the 2019 Boston Marathon, many from Massachusetts, and many more from across the country and the world. If you’re running this year, congratulations! Here are some things to keep in mind.
Getting to the Starting Line
The only guaranteed transportation for runners from downtown Boston to the starting line in Hopkinton are the Boston Athletic Association buses that leave from Charles Street, between Boston Common and the Public Garden.
MBTA service starts around 5 AM, and there are several options for getting to the BAA pick-up point on Charles Street.
- Back Bay Station is about a 15-minute walk to the pick-up point.
- From North Station, take the Green Line to Arlington.
- From South Station, take the Red Line to Park Street and transfer to the Green Line. Take the Green Line to Arlington.
There’s nothing like taking in the sights of the marathon on Patriots’ Day, along the course or at the finish line.
Plus, you can take the bus and subway all day with our 1-day pass—or use our special $15 Marathon Pass to hop on and off the Commuter Rail all day. Note, this pass is not valid on the subway and bus.
We will be running additional trains on the Framingham/Worcester Line to accommodate more riders. All other Commuter Rail lines will operate a regular weekday schedule.
Along the Course
There are plenty of great viewing (and cheering!) locations accessible by public transit.
The Red Sox have a home game at 11:05 AM on Patriots’ Day, so trains and stations may be especially crowded before and after the game.
Many stops along the Framingham/Worcester Line are less than a half-mile from the course, including:
- West Natick
- Natick Center
- Wellesley Square
- Wellesley Hills
- Wellesley Farms
- West Newton
- Lansdowne (formerly Yawkey)
- Back Bay
A special all-day $15 Marathon Pass is valid for all Commuter Rail lines and zones, with unlimited hop-on and hop-off travel. Note, this pass is not valid on the subway and bus.
We recommend checking Commuter Rail alerts before your trip.
The Green Line C Branch runs parallel to the course. Take in the best view of Miles 22 – 24, from Cleveland Circle to St. Mary's Street!
Several above-ground stops on the B, D, and E branches are within walking distance:
The following stops are closed between 10 AM and 6 PM:
We recommend checking Green Line alerts before your trip.
At the Finish Line
For fans and family who want to be in the heart of it all, the finish line is one of the most popular spots. It's in front of the Boston Public Library near Copley Square, and there are several ways to get there.
Please be aware of security restrictions in the area on Marathon Monday.
Copley Station on the Green Line is closed on Marathon Monday.
We recommend checking Green Line alerts before your trip.
Etiquette and Safety
Please follow these guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.
A number of items are prohibited near the starting line, finish line, and along the course on Marathon Monday. 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.