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 Monday through Saturday.  See the pdf schedule. There is also an interactive schedule where you choose the direction (inbound or outbound) and day of travel from drop-down menus.
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




Ticket Prices as of July 2019 (Needham is Zone 2):

Single: $7.00 each way; $14.00 round trip; monthly pass $232.00; monthly pass on mTicket App $222.00. Children under the age of twelve ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult (limit of 2 children per adult). Fares at 50% Discount (and free for the blind/visually impaired) are available for seniors 65+, persons with disabilities, and students, but they need special cards. Please note that 10-ride passes from the fare machines or ticket windows are now only available for half-fare tickets.

January 2019: The MBTA has restarted its pilot program from 2018 and is continuing to offer a special $10 weekend pass good for unlimited Saturday and Sunday travel in all zones of the commuter rail system (except the CapeFlyer).

Buying Tickets:

  • Cash on the train: Buy single or roundtrip tickets. Careful! If you buy a ticket on the train and you could have bought the ticket at the train station, you have to pay a $3 surcharge. This applies to all downtown stations. Boarding the train in Needham, this applies only if you got on the train at Needham Junction while the ticket office was open (in the morning).
  • Use your Smartphone to download the mTicket smartphone app. to buy Zone 2 one-way, roundtrip, 10-ride tickets, or limited monthly pass.
  • Buy at major stations: buy Zone 2 one-way, roundtrip, 10-ride tickets (reduced fare)  or monthly passes at downtown Boston train stations, and at Needham Junction railway station (limited opening hours  6 a.m. – 8 a.m. Monday through Friday in Sept. 2016) Needham Junction store does not take credit cards – only cash or “commuter checks,” which are issued by an employer.
  • Go online to buy monthly commuter rail passes.

Parking: No more stuffing bills into tiny slots!

As of July 2015, all MBTA-owned and -operated unattended parking lots operate under an updated payment system. The Honor Box Payment system has been deactivated and PayByPhone is the only method of payment in advance. Commuters can sign up for PayByPhone by downloading the app, (on iOS and Android devices), the web app at, or by dialing 1-866-234-7275 from any phone. The MBTA parking payment system offers daily parking and monthly parking passes.

  • As of July 2019, for Hersey and Needham Heights the Mon-Fri daily charge is $4 (Sat. and Sunday $2)  Monthly pass: $70
  • As of July 2019, for Needham Junction the Mon-Fri daily charge is $6 (Sat. and Sunday $2)  Monthly pass: $105
  • For commuter parking at 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