List of MBTA bus routes

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Geographic map of MBTA bus service

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus division operates 152 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 and Middlesex and Boston Street Railway. 148 routes are directly operated by the MBTA, while private companies operate four routes under contract. Four additional suburban operations are partially funded by the MBTA.

A number of routes were temporarily suspended or placed on modified routings during the COVID-19 pandemic; overall service levels were restored to pre-COVID levels in 2021, though some routes were not restored. Since 2018, the MBTA has been planning a major bus network overhaul, with implementation expected to be complete in 2028.[1]

Silver Line[edit]

SL2 bus at South Station

The Silver Line is a six-route bus rapid transit system marketed as rapid transit. It is divided into two branches: Waterfront service (SL1, SL2, SL3, and the rush-hour SLW 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. All Silver Line routes use articulated 60-foot (18 m) buses; the Waterfront routes use hybrid buses with extended battery range for electric operation in the tunnel.

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.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
SL1 Logan Airport terminals–South Station Link
SL2 Drydock Avenue–South Station Link
SL3 ChelseaSouth Station Link
SLW Silver Line WaySouth Station Link
SL4 Nubian stationSouth Station Link
SL5 Nubian stationDowntown Crossing (Temple Place) Link


The two crosstown (CT) routes provide limited-stop service on two routes that connect major subway and bus transfer points. Three crosstown routes were created by the MBTA in 1994; route CT1 was merged with route 1 in 2019.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
CT2 Sullivan Square stationRuggles station Link
CT3 Beth Israel Deaconess HospitalAndrew station Link


A route 1 bus in Cambridge
A route 7 bus in downtown Boston
A route 29 bus on Columbus Avenue in Roxbury, Boston
A route 34E bus in Walpole
A route 39 bus in Jamaica Plain
A route 60 bus at Kenmore station
A route 75 bus in the Harvard Bus Tunnel
A route 96 bus in Somerville
A route 101 bus on Main Street in Somerville
A route 111 bus at Bellingham Square

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. New routes have been added during the M.T.A. and MBTA eras.[2]

Seven routes – 52, 59, 61, 62, 67, 70, and 76 – serve more distant western suburbs including Waltham, Lexington, and Needham. They are descendants of routes acquired from the Middlesex and Boston Street Railway in 1972, which were subsequently renumbered using previously discontinued designations.[2]

Fifteen routes – 1, 15, 22, 23, 28, 32, 39, 57, 66, 71, 73, 77, 111, 116, and 117 – are designated as key bus routes. The highest–ridership routes in the system, 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 other routes.[3] Routes 28 and 39 use 60-foot articulated buses.

Four early morning round trips are run between outlying stations and Haymarket, each running over portions of several local routes. Although intended primarily for station agents, they are open to all passengers. The trips are internally numbered 191–194, but are shown in timetables as variants of local routes.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
1 Harvard SquareNubian station Link
4 North StationMarine Park Link
7 City PointOtis Street & Summer Street Link
8 Harbor PointKenmore station Link
9 City PointCopley Square Link
10 City PointCopley Square Link
11 City PointChauncy Street & Summer Street Link
14 Roslindale SquareHeath Street station Link
15 Fields Corner station or Kane Square–Ruggles station Link
16 Forest Hills stationAndrew station or Harbor Point Link
17 Fields Corner stationAndrew station Link
18 Ashmont stationAndrew station Link
19 Fields Corner stationKenmore station or Ruggles station Link
21 Ashmont stationForest Hills station Link
22 Ashmont stationRuggles station via Talbot Avenue Link
23 Ashmont stationRuggles station via Washington Street Link
24 Wakefield Avenue–Ashmont station Link
26 Ashmont station–Norfolk Street Loop Link
28 Mattapan stationRuggles station Link
29 Mattapan stationJackson Square station Link
30 Mattapan stationForest Hills station via Cummins Highway and Roslindale Square Link
31 Mattapan stationForest Hills station via Morton Street Link
32 Wolcott or Cleary SquareForest Hills station Link
33 River Street & Milton Street–Mattapan station Link
34 Dedham Mall–Forest Hills station Link
34E Walpole CenterForest Hills station Link
35 Dedham Mall or Stimson Street–Forest Hills station Link
36 Millennium Park or VA Hospital–Forest Hills station Link
37 Baker Street & Vermont Street–Forest Hills station Link
38 Wren Street–Forest Hills station Link
39 Forest Hills stationBack Bay station Link
40 Georgetowne–Forest Hills station Link
41 Centre Street & Eliot StreetJFK/UMass station Link
42 Forest Hills stationNubian station Link
43 Ruggles stationPark Street station Link
44 Jackson Square stationRuggles station Link
45 Franklin ParkRuggles station Link
47 Central Square, CambridgeBroadway station Link
50 Cleary SquareForest Hills station Link
51 Reservoir stationForest Hills station Link
52 Dedham Mall–Watertown Yard Link
55 FenwayCopley Square Link
57 Watertown YardKenmore station Link
59 Needham JunctionWatertown Square Link
60 Chestnut HillKenmore station Link
61 North Waltham–Waltham Center Link
62 Bedford VA Hospital–Alewife station Link
62/76 Bedford VA Hospital–Alewife station via Hanscom Airport Link
64 Oak SquareUniversity Park or Kendall/MIT station Link
65 Brighton CenterKenmore station Link
66 Harvard SquareNubian station via Allston Link
67 Turkey Hill–Alewife station Link
68 Harvard SquareKendall/MIT station Link
69 Harvard SquareLechmere station Link
70 Market Place Drive or Waltham CenterUniversity Park Link
71 Watertown SquareHarvard station Link
73 Waverley SquareHarvard station Link
74 Belmont CenterHarvard via Concord Avenue Link
75 Belmont CenterHarvard via Huron Avenue Link
76 Lincoln LabAlewife station Link
77 Arlington HeightsHarvard station Link
78 Arlmont Village–Harvard station Link
80 Arlington CenterLechmere station Link
83 Rindge Avenue–Central Square, Cambridge Link
85 Spring Hill–Kendall/MIT station Link
86 Sullivan Square stationReservoir station Link
87 Clarendon Hill or Arlington CenterLechmere station Link
88 Clarendon Hill–Lechmere station Link
89 Clarendon Hill or Davis stationSullivan Square station Link
90 Davis stationAssembly Row Link
91 Sullivan Square stationCentral Square, Cambridge Link
92 Sullivan Square stationDowntown via Main Street Link
93 Sullivan Square stationDowntown via Bunker Hill Street Link
94 Medford SquareDavis station Link
95 West Medford or Arlington CenterSullivan Square station Link
96 Medford SquareHarvard station Link
97 Malden Center stationWellington station Link
99 Woodland Road–Wellington station Link
100 Elm Street–Wellington station Link
101 Malden Center stationSullivan Square station via Winter Hill Link
104 Malden Center stationSullivan Square station via Ferry Street Link
105 Malden Center stationSullivan Square station via Newland Street Housing Link
106 Lebanon Loop–Wellington station Link
108 Linden Square–Wellington station Link
109 Linden Square–Sullivan Square station Link
110 Wonderland stationWellington station Link
111 Woodlawn–Haymarket station Link
112 Wellington stationWood Island station Link
114 Market BasketMaverick station Link
116 Wonderland stationMaverick station via Revere Street Link
117 Wonderland stationMaverick station via Beach Street Link
119 Northgate Shopping Center–Beachmont station Link
120 Orient Heights station–Jeffries Point Link
121 Wood Island stationMaverick station Link


A route 137 bus at Reading 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 since-discontinued 136 and the 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.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
131 Melrose HighlandsOak Grove or Malden Center station Link
132 Redstone Shopping Center–Malden Center station Link
134 North Woburn–Wellington station Link
137 Reading DepotMalden Center station Link


Route 171 is a special low-service route – a replacement for early morning CT3 service when it was cut back from Logan Airport in 2002. Other numbers in the 170s were previously used for special routes, largely short-lived routes serving industrial areas.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
171 Logan Airport terminals–Nubian station Link


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.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
201 Fields Corner Loop via Neponset Avenue Link
202 Fields Corner Loop via Adams Street Link


A route 240 bus in Randolph

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 phases in 1971 and 1980s, these routes were rerouted to terminate at the new rapid transit stations (principally Quincy Center).[2]

Route Description MBTA link
210 Quincy Center stationFields Corner station Link
211 Quincy Center stationSquantum Link
215 Quincy Center stationAshmont station via West Quincy Link
216 Houghs Neck–Quincy Center station via Germantown Link
217 Quincy Center stationAshmont station Link
220 Hingham Depot–Quincy Center station Link
222 East Weymouth–Quincy Center station Link
225 Weymouth Landing–Quincy Center station Link
226 Columbian Square–Braintree station Link
230 Montello stationQuincy Center station Link
236 South Shore PlazaQuincy Center station Link
238 Holbrook/Randolph stationQuincy Center station Link
240 Avon Square–Ashmont station Link
245 Quincy Center stationMattapan station Link


These routes operate in the Burlington and Woburn area. They are the descendants of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway's Lowell–Boston route, which was inherited intact by the MBTA in 1968 and soon cut back to Burlington.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
350 North Burlington–Alewife station Link
351 Bedford Woods Drive–Third Avenue Link
354 Woburn–State Street, Boston Link


These routes operate in the Lynn area and the North Shore. Two routes that run to Haymarket have weekend 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.[2]

A route 430 bus leaving Malden Center station
A route 451 bus on Route 1A in Salem
Route Description MBTA link
411 Kennedy Drive or Jack Satter House–Malden Center station Link
424 Eastern Avenue & Essex Street–Wonderland station Link
426 Central Square, LynnHaymarket station Link
426W Central Square, LynnWonderland station Link
428 Oaklandvale–Haymarket station Link
429 Northgate Shopping Center–Central Square, Lynn Link
430 Saugus CenterMalden Center station Link
435 Salem DepotCentral Square, Lynn via Peabody Square Link
436 Liberty Tree MallCentral Square, Lynn via Goodwin Circle Link
439 NahantWonderland station Link
441 MarbleheadWonderland station via Paradise Road Link
442 MarbleheadWonderland station via Humphrey Street Link
450 Salem DepotHaymarket station Link
450W Salem DepotWonderland station Link
451 North Beverly stationSalem Depot Link
455 Salem DepotWonderland station Link
456 Salem DepotCentral Square, Lynn Link


A route 505 bus on the Mass Pike

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. They were cut back to Newton Corner in 2020.[2]

Route Description MBTA link
501 Brighton CenterFederal Street & Franklin Street Link
504 Watertown YardFederal Street & Franklin Street Link
505 Waltham CenterFederal Street & Franklin Street Link
553 RobertsNewton Corner Link
554 Waverley SquareNewton Corner Link
556 Waltham Highlands–Newton Corner Link
558 Riverside stationNewton Corner Link

Privately operated routes[edit]

An MBTA bus operated by Paul Revere Transportation running on the #713 route at Orient Heights station in 2018

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 712-716 are radial commuter routes that accept MBTA passes on CharlieTickets only; they were taken over from various private operators (Rapid Transit Inc. for the 712/713, Nantasket Transportation for the 714, and Hudson Bus Lines for the 716).[2]

The non-numbered routes (listed here by their designator on MBTA maps) are local circulator services founded by the municipalities with partial MBTA subsidy.[2] 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
712 Point Shirley, Winthrop–Orient Heights station via Revere Street Link
713 Point Shirley, Winthrop–Orient Heights station via Winthrop Center 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
LEX Lexington Lexpress (4 routes) Link
MIS Mission Hill LINK Link


  1. ^ "Bus Network Redesign". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). Boston Street Railway Association.
  3. ^ "Service Delivery Policy" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. July 13, 2006. pp. 3, 26–27. Retrieved July 24, 2014.

External links[edit]