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It is indicated here that "Silver Line is FREE from Logan Airport inbound to South Station (including a free transfer to the Red Line)."

First, how does the free transfer work? Do I need to have a Charlie card and tap it upon boarding a Silver Line bus and then upon entering the train (or bus?) on the red line? If I don't need to use the red line, do I need to take any actions (e.g. tapping a Charlie card) when boarding a Silver Line bus?

Second, is it free to travel back from the South Station to Logan Airport?

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MBTA Silver Line route SL1 is currently free when you board at Logan Airport as noted; Massport (the port authority) subsidizes this fare to encourage transit usage. You do not need a CharlieCard or any other payment method to board at the airport; you'll simply be waved on when the bus arrives at the curb, essentially the same as if it were one of the inter-terminal shuttles.

When you arrive at South Station, you will exit behind the faregates (i.e. inside the paid area). You can then ride the T to any point in the system, including free transfers to the Blue, Green, or Orange Lines. You do not, however, get an additional free transfer to another local bus, because your CharlieCard will not have recorded the initial ride.

The ride is not free in the return direction; the outbound Silver Line to Logan is $2.25 with a CharlieCard or $2.75 with a CharlieTicket or cash. Whether the Silver Line or the Blue Line makes more sense, therefore, depends on where you will be traveling from and what your preference of mode is.

  • They named their fare card after a guy who wasn't allowed to get off the train because he didn't have the fare? Have they at least started checking the fare before you get on, instead of when you want to get off? – The Photon Jun 7 at 23:49
  • The T is a flat fare system. Exit fare was an issue because MBTA decided to raise the fare but not change the machines to reflect the increase, collecting the increase upon exit instead. It isn't like the DC Metro, say. – choster Jun 8 at 1:55

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