How to Use the Needham Line Commuter Rail

Going to Downtown Boston, Back Bay, MFA, Logan Airport?

Relax and Enjoy the View!


Current Schedule:

Commuter Rail trains run every day of the week.  See the pdf schedule. There is also an interactive schedule where you choose the direction (inbound or outbound) and day of travel.
Needham Stations:

  • Needham Heights, Needham Center, Needham Junction, Hersey (Great Plain Ave. at Broad Meadow Rd.)
  • Tip: Watch for signs indicating where to board the train during non-peak hours.


Needham Center Train Station1




Need an intro to the system? See the MBTA’s Beginner’s Guide to the Commuter Rail

Ticket Prices as of June 2023 (Needham is Zone 2):

What a deal!! $10 Weekend Commuter Rail Pass Enjoy unlimited travel on the Commuter Rail for just $10 every weekend. Passes can be bought on the mTicket app, on board with cash or credit card, or at the ticket windows at North, South, and Back Bay Stations. Passes are valid on all lines and zones, Saturdays, Sundays and select holidays.

Zone 2 Regular Tickets and Passes: Single: $7.00 each way; $14.00 round trip; monthly pass $232.00; monthly pass on mTicket App $222.00. Children 11 years old and younger ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult (up to two children per adult). Fares at 50% Discount (and free for the blind/visually impaired) are available for seniors 65+, persons with disabilities, and others. See Reduced Fares  Seniors: Show your /senior CharlieCard to get the reduced commuter rail fare.

  Learn how seniors can apply for a new, renewal, or replacement Senior CharlieCard online or by appointment.

How Do I Buy Tickets? (You cannot use a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket.)

  • Cash or credit card on the train: Buy single or roundtrip tickets. Careful! If you board the train at a station that sells tickets (North, South, or Back Bay Station only), buy the ticket at a machine or ticket window rather than on the train, to avoid a $3 surcharge.
  • Use your Smartphone. Download the mTicketsmartphone app to buy one-way, roundtrip, 5-day Flex Passes, and monthly Commuter Rail passes for all zones.
  • Buy at major stations: buy Zone 2 one-way or roundtrip tickets or monthly passes at North, South, or Back Bay stations.
  • Use your monthly commuter rail pass. (available online).


Where to park: Parking is available at Hersey (largest lot), Needham Junction, and Needham Heights. Needham Center has parking by permit only.

How to Pay: Either by PayByPhone or by waiting to get an invoice (invoice has $1 surcharge). You can sign up for PayByPhone by downloading the app onto your smartphone. Or, when you park, you can dial 1-866-234-7275 and pay by credit card. Through PayByPhone you can pay for daily parking and monthly parking passes. See MBTA Parking Overview.

Parking Fees

  • Hersey and Needham Heights: $4 weekday; $2 weekend.  Monthly pass: $70
  • Needham Junction: $6 weekday; $2 weekend.  Monthly pass: $105
  • Needham Center: a Town Permit is required. Contact Town of Needham Parking clerk at 781 455-7500.
  • Set up a PaybyPhone account
  • If you are not a regular commuter or would prefer not to sign up for PayByPhone, an invoice notice will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner for every day the vehicle is found unpaid in the parking lot at the end of each month. The invoice will include a $1.00 surcharge per day in addition to the parking fee.

Where can I go on the Needham Line?

From Ruggles Station:

  • Walk to Northeastern University, Museum of Fine Arts

From Back Bay Station:

  • Walk to Copley Square, Boston Public Library, Copley Place, Newbury St. shopping and restaurants


From South Station:

  • Walk to the Financial District and Chinatown, the Boston Greenway, State House
  • Walk or take the Silver Line to the Waterfront district
  • Take the Silver Line to Logan Airport
  • Access the Red Line subway to get to the State House/Beacon Hill, Harvard Square, and many other locations.


Other pages in this section


Resources on the Web