St. Patrick's Day Guide
For over 100 years, Boston has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a parade through the streets of South Boston. Up to a million people attend the parade every year—and they arrive early to claim their viewing spots on the parade route.
This year, the parade steps off at Broadway Station on March 17 at 1 PM. Due to street closures and parking bans in the neighborhood, driving to the parade is not recommended.
We want to ensure your safety while you celebrate—additional MBTA staff and Transit Police will be available at MBTA stations throughout the day. Here are some other things you should know about taking the T to South Boston to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Getting to and from the Parade
The Red Line will be very crowded the day of the parade. Please plan ahead for your trip—you may need to wait longer than usual to get on a train.
The Red Line will run rush hour service, with trains at least every 5 minutes, 9 AM – 6 PM.
Broadway and Andrew stations are along the parade route. Trains may bypass Broadway Station during certain times of the day due to heavy crowds.
Between 10:30 AM and 6 PM, a free shuttle will provide service between South Station and East 1st Street in South Boston.
The shuttle will pick up on the Summer Street side of South Station.
Commuter Rail trains will run with additional cars to accommodate parade attendees.
$10 Weekend Passes
Weekend passes are valid for unlimited travel on all Commuter Rail lines in all zones on Saturday and Sunday. We recommend buying them with the mTicket app.
Driving to the parade isn't recommended. Parking restrictions and street closures will be in effect in South Boston. However, 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 stations on Twitter @MBTA_Parking.
Paying for Your Trip
We recommend buying your MBTA tickets before the parade to avoid long lines at fare vending machines and ticket windows. Please note that one-way, round trip, and $10 weekend passes for the Commuter Rail are not valid for travel on the subway or bus.
Please load 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.
Pre-loaded $5 CharlieCards will be available before and on the day of the parade. They can only be purchased with a credit or debit card.
Before the parade, stop by the CharlieVan:
- On Thursday, March 14, 12 PM – 3 PM, parked at the corner of Summer and Chauncy Streets in Downtown Crossing
- On Friday, March 15, 12 PM – 3 PM, parked on Atlantic Avenue near Summer Street at South Station
On the day of the parade, from 8 AM – 1 PM, talk to a Transit Ambassador at one of the following stations:
We recommend buying a $10 weekend pass, valid for unlimited travel on all Commuter Rail lines in all zones on Saturday and Sunday.
Safety and Etiquette
Please follow these guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in South Boston.
If you need to report an emergency, please call 911 or the Transit Police at 617-222-1212.
- Alcohol consumption is not allowed on vehicles or at 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 MBTA at any time the day of the parade.
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.
If you need to report an emergency, call 911 or the Transit Police at 617-222-1212.