Here is some advice on what type of transportation you should take at MIT.
Get a Bluebikes membership
Bluebikes memberships are $39 a year (student discount!) and allow you unlimited 45-minute rides between blue bike stations. I’ve shared my account with multiple people over the years, and the bike locations are convenient to access. There is a station right outside Maseeh and another near Stata, which helps a lot in the morning.
One downside is that availability of bikes changes as the day progresses.
Transportation to and from the airport
The mode of transportation I take heavily depends on how much luggage I have and the time of day. MIT does provide a cheap shuttle service to and from the airport, but only at the beginning and end of each semester. They are only available on certain days, and I always forget to sign up.
I usually Uber or take the subway. However, I’ve found that the traffic is bad during rush hour and it can be more stressful compared to the predictability of public transportation. Rush hour is from 8-9:30 AM and 3-6:30 PM. Luckily, I don’t book flights at those times of the day anymore. I usually take the subway during rush hour but will take an Uber to the airport otherwise (15 mins vs. 50 mins) — especially with luggage. The Uber price is worth it, especially when you can coordinate between friends. I kind of wished someone would create a spreadsheet so people could coordinate Ubers.
Bonus: It doesn’t cost any money to take the silver line to the red line from the airport. I take it to Kendall Square, but I usually just want to get back to my dorm…
To downtown Boston with friends
Uber. Definitely Uber unless it’s the rush hour; you should walk if that’s the case. I only use the subway if it’s during the summer or beginning of the semester. The time spent walking to the red line and then taking the red line is better spent studying or simply walking to your destination.
Around campus and to Boston by yourself
Bluebikes! Don’t take Ubers if you don’t have to. I’ve heard you can also get a Harvard library card and take the M1 bus for free. I’ve never attempted it myself, but my friend uses it all the time to go to Harvard or into Boston!
Frat parties on weekends
Campus shuttle (safe rides). They come every 30 minutes or so. Don’t trust the app on where the shuttles are cause it’s usually wrong. I’ve waited longer than the time it took to walk across the bridge and to my destination! Ubers are also convenient if you don’t want to go immediately and have a sizable group. But if the weather isn’t bad, it’s not a bad walk across the river!
Don’t forget to leave campus
We’re in the city. I’ve had so much fun not being on campus, and I hope others will feel the same.