Getting Around By Bus
The MBTA runs buses and "trackless trolleys" (buses with electric antennae) that provide service around town and to and around the suburbs. The local routes that you'll most likely need are no. 1, along Mass. Ave. from Dudley Square in Roxbury through the Back Bay and Cambridge to Harvard Square; no. 92 and no. 93, which connect Haymarket and Charlestown; and no. 77, along Mass. Ave. north of Harvard Square to Porter Square, North Cambridge, and Arlington.
The local bus fare is 90กห; express bus fares are $2.20 and up. Exact change is required. You can use a token, but you won't get change back.
Ride & Save (Maybe) -- The MBTA's Boston Visitor Pass (tel. 877/927-7277 or 617/222-5218; www.mbta.com) can be a great deal -- but only if you plan to use public transit enough. You get unlimited travel on subway lines and local buses, in commuter rail zones 1A and 1B, and on Inner Harbor ferries, but not on the Night Owl bus. The cost is $7.50 for 1 day (so tokens are cheaper for fewer than six trips), $18 for 3 consecutive days, and $35 for 7 consecutive days. If the timing works, the $16.50 weekly combo pass is a better deal. It covers subways and buses but not ferries, and is good from Sunday to Saturday only.
You can order passes in advance over the phone or the Web (www.mbta.com; there's a fee for shipping), or buy them when you arrive at the Airport T stop, South Station, Back Bay Station, or North Station. They're also for sale at the Government Center and Harvard T stations; the Boston Common, Prudential Center, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace information centers; and some hotels.