Boston Marathon: Helpful tips to plan your trip


BOSTON (WPRI) — Planning on heading into the city for the Boston Marathon? You’re not alone.

Here’s some helpful information from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Boston Athletic Association to help plan your trip:

Utilize “real time” tools to monitor traffic and delays

This includes the MassDOT GoTime app,, Waze and the MassDOT Twitter account.

These tools will help provide real-time travel conditions across Massachusetts and provide motorists with information regarding incidents that could halt the flow of traffic.

“This is a perfect time for travelers to utilize, call 511, download our GoTime real-time traffic condition app, use other travel technology tools when making plans,” Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver said. “We encourage all members of the public to think about their trips and about events such as the Boston Marathon which may impact how people will get to their destinations.”

Figure out how you will get there

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) said all commuter railfare and service will operate as normal during the Boston Marathon.

The day of the marathon, there is an option to purchase a $20 all-day pass on the Framingham/Worcester line, which runs parallel to the marathon route.

Here’s how you can purchase the pass:

  • Now through April 16: Through the mTicket app
  • Now through April 15: From ticket offices at North Station, South Station, and Back Bay Station
  • Now through April 16: Onboard Framingham/Worcester line trains

Charlie Cards will also be available for purchase at Riverside Station for the Green Line on the day of the marathon from 7-11 a.m.

MBTA said because of safety concerns, Copley Station will be closed the entire day.

Here are some other stations that can be utilized in its place:

  • Arlington Station (serving all Green Line branches)
  • Prudential Station (Green Line E Branch)
  • Hynes Convention Center Station (Green Line B, C, and D branches)
  • Back Bay Station (Orange Line)

More information on public transportation can be found on the MBTA website.

Looking to Uber?

For those using rideshare services, the BAA has established “Uber zones” across the course.

Here are the specified Uber zones:

  • Cleveland Circle – Brookline
  • Washington Square – Brookline
  • Coolidge Corner – Brookline
  • Commonwealth Ave – Boston
  • Columbus Avenue – Boston
  • Copley Square – Boston (Friday, Saturday, Sunday only)

Leave prohibited items at home

These items include weapons or items that can be used as weapons, backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags, coolers, glass containers or cans, flammable liquids/fuels, fireworks/explosives, any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid, handbags or packages/bulky items, large blankets, sleeping bags, costumes that cover the face or are non-form fitting and props (sporting equipment, military and fire gear)

Possession of any of these items may result in delays when passing through security checkpoints.

Know where to park

On-street parking in Boston’s Back Bay is limited during the week of the marathon. There are several parking garages in the area, though public transportation is encouraged.

Parking meters will not be not active on Patriots’ Day. But due to road closures and traffic congestion, spectators will be unable to drive near the finish line.

Anyone looking for a parking garage can try the one located at 100 Clarendon, which is just a block away from the finish line.

Know your start time

If you’re running in the marathon, it is imperative you know when you will hit the pavement. There are several different start times which can be located on the Boston Marathon website. Public transportation to the starting line is provided for all those participating in the marathon.

 Where are you viewing?

The Boston Marathon has several different “optimal viewing spots” throughout the course. For those times and locations, visit the Boston Marathon website.

Track your athlete

If you’re going to the marathon to watch someone you know run, you can track their progress by searching on the Boston Marathon Website, or downloading the Boston Marathon app on your phone.

The live tracking does not utilize the runners smartphone’s geo-location.

USPS to close collection boxes

The United States Postal Service will be sealing several of the blue collection mailboxes along the marathon route.

The boxes will be pinned shut starting at the time of the last collection of mail on Saturday and will be reopened again on Tuesday morning. The USPS said this is in the interest of safety and security during the event.

These collection boxes will be closed from Sunday to Monday:

  • Hopkinton: 18 Main St. and 65 Grove St.
  • Ashland: 390 Union St. and 200 Homer St.
  • Framingham: 88 and 818 Waverly St. and 30 Hollis Street
  • Natick: 2 Mill St., 5, 150 and 209 West Central St., 10, 34 and 49 Main St., 15 Common St., 13 East Central St. and 33 Newfield St.
  • Wellesley: 1, 8, 21 and 40 Grove St., 35, 70 and 106 Central St., 1, 31, 40, 124, 284, 336, 337, 366, 372, 386, 446, 485, 540, 573, 628 and 666 Washington St. and 431 Worcester St.
  • Newton: 491, 564, 638 and 1000 Commonwealth Ave., 561 Ward St., 23 and 1800  Washington St. and 108 Fuller St.
  • Chestnut Hill: 17, 140 and 176 Commonwealth Ave. and 25 Wachusett Rd.
  • Brookline: 999, 1002, 1053, 1056, 1093, 1101, 1180, 1187, 1223, 1232, 1284, 1295, 1296, 1319, 1320, 1352, 1361, 1396, 1397, 1432, 1443, 1501, 1530, 1539, 1600, 1623, 1628, 1652, 1663, 1713, 1763, 1784, 1842 and 1853 Beacon St. and 333 and 360 Washington St.
  • Brighton: 1880, 1970, 1999, 2025 and 2060 Commonwealth Ave., 330 Chestnut Hill Ave., 1912, 2001 and 2002 Beacon St. and 129 Lake St.
  • Boston: 652, 677, 700, 829 and 880 Beacon St., 308, 311, 400 and 466  Commonwealth Ave., 60, 86 and 100 Massachusetts Ave., 300 Newbury St. and 344, 399, 443, 535, 607, 667*, 711, 797, 885, 1044 and 1126 Boylston St.
  • Other collection boxes in these communities will be available to drop mail and normal collection schedules will resume on Tuesday, April 19.
  • The box at 667 Boylston St. will return to service midweek when the Finish Line Grandstands are removed

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