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Winter Guide

Decorative. Text: Winter.

Long before the first snowflake falls each year, MBTA employees are getting our salt silos, plows, and winter boots ready to clear tracks, stations, and parking lots. 

See how we've been getting ready since last year.

In the meantime, here are some ways you can get ready for a snowy commute.

Planning Your Winter Commute

green line at brookline hills snow

Plan ahead for your commute by checking alerts on our website and on Twitter. 

If you can avoid traveling during winter storms, we recommend doing so. This helps us, and the many other road crews around the state, clear the rails and roadways for safe travel.

Get up-to-the-minute service changes delivered via email or text with T-Alerts. 

Check our winter weather page during storms for active service changes.

See system-wide service changes

Or, see all service alerts for every mode in one place. 

See all T alerts

Check us on social media for live service notices. 

Follow @MBTA
Follow @MBTA_CR

Before, during, and after storms, Customer Support is available to answer your questions.

What to Expect During a Storm

snow on charles/mgh platforms

Snow, ice, wind, and debris are the main causes for delays and disruptions to MBTA service during winter. 

On rare occasions, the Governor may issue a state of emergency or travel ban, which can impact the level of MBTA service available. If this happens, we will update our website and Twitter with related service changes.

Extreme cold, heavy snow, and ice can impact train service during storms. Routes that run at street level, like the Green Line and Mattapan Trolley, are more likely to be delayed.

While our crews and staff work to clear snow and ice, we may run trains at reduced schedules or slower speeds. This is safer for everyone and prevents damage to trains and equipment.

On rare occasions, service may be suspended or replaced with shuttle buses.

All delays and schedule changes are detailed in system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email.

See all Subway alerts


Did you know? We use a lot of different equipment to keep stations and tracks clear, including the jet-powered Snowzilla. We also have heaters along Red and Orange Line tracks and special de-icing trains for all subway lines.

Schedules and Service

During storms, bus service may operate on reduced schedules or adjusted routes due to snow or ice. For the safety of customers and staff, buses may operate at reduced speeds. 

Some bus lines run on alternate routes to avoid narrow streets and steep hills. All snow routes are indicated on PDF schedules, available on our website or from your bus driver. 

See all snow routes

All route and schedule variations are detailed in all system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email. 

See all bus alerts

Stops

The MBTA is responsible for clearing snow and ice from stops on 15 key bus routes and the Silver Line within 24 hours after snowfall ends. Municipalities are responsible for clearing all other stops. 

You can report an uncleared bus stop to the MBTA or the municipality responsible for the stop. 

Report an unshoveled bus stop


Did you know? If you regularly ride any of the 15 key bus routes or the Silver Line, and you sign up for T-Alerts, we’ll send you an “All Clear” message when all the stops along your route have been shoveled. 

Service on the Commuter Rail may be impacted by extreme cold, heavy snow, and ice. Sometimes, service may be disrupted if tree limbs or electric wires fall on the tracks.

During and immediately after severe weather, trains will operate on one of the following schedule types: 

Regular Schedule: Trains operating with normal service.

Storm Schedule: Trains operating with modified service. Storm schedules are available on each Commuter Rail line page, and from staff at North, South, and Back Bay stations.

No Service: Service suspended. This happens on rare occasions.

All schedule changes are detailed in system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email.

Check Commuter Rail service alerts

Sign up for T-Alerts


Did you know? During extreme weather, we deploy as many as 450 crew members to clear Commuter Rail tracks and stations. Crews use a variety of equipment, including a snow plow train and the jet-powered Snowzilla.

Ferry service may be suspended or delayed in the event of snow, ice, or wind.

If you usually take the ferry to downtown Boston, try one of these alternate routes:

Winter weather may impact driving conditions, and drivers may not be able to access locations that aren’t shoveled or plowed. 

Before and during storms, you can call The RIDE Access Center (TRAC) for information about delays or cancellations for any trips you have scheduled.

Contact The RIDE Access Center

During and after storms, crews work to keep MBTA parking lots clear. Sometimes, large snow banks may reduce the number of spaces available. Cars parked outside of designated spaces or left overnight maybe ticketed or towed.

You can check parking availability at popular lots and garages on Twitter, @MBTA_Parking.

If you have concerns about snow or ice at any of our facilities, please contact Customer Support.

Learn more about winter parking policies

Alternate Routes

23 bus to ruggles in snow

If your subway line is disrupted, local buses, another subway line, or the Commuter Rail may be an alternative to getting downtown. While we still recommend avoiding travel during extreme weather, here are some common alternate routes to Boston.

Please note that depending on the severity of the storm, the routes listed here may be impacted. Always plan ahead by checking for current service alerts and changes.

See all T-Alerts

See winter service updates

Arlington

Somerville

Cambridge

South Boston

Braintree/Quincy

Mattapan/Dorchester

Melrose/Malden

Medford/Somerville

Roxbury/Jamaica Plain

Allston/Brighton

Brookline

Newton

Mission Hill

Revere

  • From Revere:
    • Route 448 or 449 to South Station
    • Route 110 to Wellington, transfer to Orange Line

East Boston/Logan Airport

If your normal Commuter Rail route is suspended and you need to travel into the city, please use our Trip Planner to plan an alternate route. 

Plan a Trip

Charlestown

Hingham/Hull