There are many transportation options available to you while attending Wellesley. Although driving is the most common (and easiest) way to get around, many students do not own cars. For driving directions to Wellesley please refer to the Driving Directions section.
Getting Around Boston
Walking and public transportation is the best way to explore Boston, as driving and parking in Boston tends to be difficult and expensive. Boston is known as “America‘s Most Walkable City” and only a short stroll through the City‘s neighborhoods will prove that point. From the North End to the Back Bay, from Beacon Hill to the South End, and from Charlestown to the Financial District, most of Boston‘s most interesting neighborhoods are connected by the Freedom Trail, a self-guided walking tour that brings Boston‘s history to life. Check out http://www.bostonusa.com for more details.
Taxi & Limousine Services
Taxis are expensive and a fare from downtown Boston to Wellesley can be about $40-60. Here is a list of some taxi services. Please note that taxis may pick up passengers only in cities where they have licenses and a 10-15% tip to the driver is standard.
Airport Direct 781.431.1000
Boston Cab 617.536.6010
Boston Coach 800.672.7676
Checker Cab 617.536.7000
McCue‘s Taxi Service 617.924.0600
Red Taxi 781.235.5570
Yellow Cab 617.527.5555
Veteran‘s Cab 781.235.1600
Wellesley Transportation 781.235.2200
Wellesley College Shuttle
Wellesley offers free shuttle service Monday through Friday between campus and other local colleges (Olin College & Babson College), as well as a shuttle to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. In addition, there is a weekend shuttle service to several locations in the greater Boston area including: the Riverside T stop, Harvard Square, MIT, and Commonwealth Avenue. A shuttle on Saturdays stops at several local shopping areas including the Natick Collection, Shopper's World, and an AMC Movie Theater. Complete shuttle schedules and prices for weekend shuttles can be found at: http://www.wellesley.edu/housingtransp
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (more commonly known as the MBTA or "T") is the most affordable mode of transportation in and around Boston. With access to every neighborhood downtown and connections to train stations and Logan Airport, the T is very convenient. It includes a network of streetcars, subways, commuter rails, and buses. The fare system uses reusable and rechargeable passes: Charlie Card or Charlie Tickets , which can be purchased at T stations. The Charlie Card is the best option, as each fare gets discounted as much as $ .30. Monthly passes are also available for the buses, subway or a combination of the two. Passes can be purchased during the first and last three days of each month. To find out more information visit: http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/
MBTA stations are marked by signs with a large letter "T." Travel anywhere on the Blue, Orange, Green, Red, and Silver Lines for the same price. The MBTA website is interactive and allows users to plan trips door to door. Visit http://www.mbta.com for more detailed information. Note: the “T” does not come directly to Wellesley, but the Woodland “T” stop is approximately two miles from campus (take the “D” train of the Green line to the second to last stop).
The subway connects at many points with MBTA bus routes. Bus fare boxes accept coins, $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills—all change greater than or equal to .50 cents will be provided as stored-value on a Charlie Ticket for use toward fares at other fare boxes or in-station.
Hours of Operation:
Hours of operation vary by station and line, but are approximately:
5:00am to 12:50am Monday-Saturday
6:00am to 12:50am Sunday
If you pay cash, you will need exact change.
The "T" Commuter Rail system is comprised of 11 lines and over 100 T stations, each located in specific "zones." Wellesley is located about half a mile from the “Wellesley Square” stop on the Framingham/Worcester line. See the Getting to Wellesley section for more information.
Boston is serviced by Amtrak with departures originating from North Station, South Station and Back Bay Station. From North Station you can travel to New Hampshire or Maine. From South or Back Bay Station, you can travel to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Call 1.800.872.7245 or visit http://www.amtrak.com for details.
Driving in the U.S.
Massachusetts (MA) State law requires all residents to obtain a MA driver‘s license within 30 days of their arrival if they plan to live in MA for one year or more. Citizens of certain countries may also utilize their home country‘s driver‘s license along with an International Driving Permit. For further details and to find your nearest Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) visit their websites below:
Registry of Motor Vehicle Web Site: http://www.massrmv.com/
Registry locations: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles/locations
Seat Belt Law : In Massachusetts, everyone in a car must wear a safety restraint. Children must ride in a federally approved infant, toddler, or booster seat until they are at least 5 years old and weigh over 40 pounds (18 kg). Then, they (and adults) must wear a seat belt, whether they are in front or back seat of the car.
Boston with a Car : Driving practices differ in different parts of the US. It is important to understand Boston driving patterns, so you can avoid an accident. Many Americans from other parts of the U.S. think Boston drivers are rude and aggressive. Of course you should not “go native” and drive this way yourself! But it is important to drive defensively—you should always assume that another car might turn right from the left-hand lane, or go through a red light, or cut in front of you. Many international newcomers choose to take a one– or two-hour driving lesson with a professional driver education company when they first arrive. This might be an excellent idea for you, especially if you come from a country with very different traffic rules and driving habits. Look in the Yellow Pages telephone book under "Driving Instruction," or ask a friend to help you pick a good company. If you are a licensed and experienced driver in your country, explain this to the instructor. You will take the lesson in the teacher‘s car. Ask if they have a teacher who speaks your language. In Massachusetts, maximum speed limits vary from 55 to 65 miles per hour.
Obtaining a Massachusetts Driver’s License
The following is a summary of what most international students must do to obtain a MA Driver’s License.
Provide Necessary Proof of Identification
- International Driver‘s License (if applicable)
- Passport: Provides Photo ID, your signature and date of birth
- Form I-20/Form DS-2019: Provides proof of signature and date of birth
- Document proving MA residency
Slater International Center can provide you with a letter which states that you live on campus. Please complete an “On-Campus Proof of Residency Letter” request form. Note: The “On-Campus Proof of Residency Letter” must be no more than 30 days old when you go to the RMV.
- Social Security number (SSN) or an official "Denial Letter" from the Social Security Office no more than 30 days old ( see “Obtaining a Social Security Number” section) . A Denial Letter will be issued on the spot at the Social Security Office; a Social Security number is usually issued in approximately two weeks. Obtaining a “Denial Letter” does not affect your eligibility for a SSN in the future.
Pass a Written Exam and Eye Test
The written exam and eye test may be taken on a walk-in basis at any RMV between 9:00am and 4:30pm. If you pass, you will get a learner‘s permit. Driver‘s license manuals are available at the RMV to help you prepare for the written and road tests.
Pass a Road Test
Road tests are by appointment only and must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance after you have earned your learner‘s permit. At the time of the road test, you need to bring your completed application (obtained from the RMV); your learner‘s permit; payment for each scheduled road test; a registered, insured and inspected vehicle; and a sponsor. The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age, have at least one year of driving experience and possess a valid U.S. license issued by his/her home state. Foreign driver’s license holders are NOT eligible to be sponsors. If you have a valid out-of-country license from certain countries and a MA learner’s permit, you may take the road test without a sponsor (Please see RMV website). Many driving schools in Massachusetts offer private lessons and will even sponsor a student for a driving test. The closest school to Wellesley is the Wellesley Driving School at 159 Linden Street, Wellesley, MA. Please contact them directly at 781.237.5010 for more information.
Costs Involved : (Methods of payment include cash, check, Visa or MasterCard)
l Learner‘s Permit (written/eye screening test): $30
l Road Driving Test: $20
l Driver‘s License: $50; $100 for out-of-state conversions
***Please note that if you move after you obtain a MA license, you must inform the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of your move. ***
Owning a Car in Massachusetts
If you own or lease a motor vehicle in Massachusetts, you must meet certain obligations to keep your vehicle legally registered and safe for the road:
- Any vehicle to be driven on public roadways in MA must be insured.
- Your car must be registered by the end of the month in which you purchase it.
- The car must also be inspected within 7 days of its purchase
- All vehicles must have a Certificate of Title. If you are buying a used car, to legally transfer its ownership to you, the previous owner must sign the title and give it to you. Before buying a used car, be sure to have a mechanic examine it.
- You must pay 5% sales tax on any vehicle purchased.
Most insurance companies will require you to have a MA driver‘s license in order to insure a car. You can use this comparison website, to find an insurance quote. Note: Insurance rates vary depending on where you live. The closer you live to Boston, the more expensive it will be.
For a small additional fee, a dealer may register your car and get the license plate for you at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). If you register your car at the RMV, you must have your driver‘s license and title (or proof of application of title). You will receive the registration and your license plates. Please keep in mind that these services require a fee and automobile tax must also be paid on the vehicle. Your vehicle registration needs to be renewed every two years.
All vehicles that are registered in Massachusetts must receive a safety inspection each year. Vehicles must undergo both an emissions test and a safety inspection every year before its current inspection sticker expires (at the end of the month printed on the sticker). To avoid end-of-the-month lines, have your vehicle tested during the first half of the month when it is due for an inspection. If you purchase a vehicle (new or used), it must be inspected within seven calendar days of its registration to continue operating on Massachusetts roadways.
Bring your vehicle registration and the $29 inspection fee with you. Check with your inspection station for payment methods accepted. If your vehicle fails its safety inspection, its emissions test or both, it must be repaired and pass a re-test within 60 days of its initial inspection. If you drive with an overdue inspection sticker, you could get pulled over by police, fined and/or ticketed.
Inspection Shop and Registered Repair Shop Locator
Buying a Car
Purchasing a car can be done either privately or through a dealership. Dealerships can be looked up online or in the yellow pages and often sell both new and used cars. Cars being sold privately can be found in many ways. Some websites worth visiting are:
In addition to listing cars for sale, boston.com also has a section called “Buying Tools and Tips” with information on purchasing a car.
When Buying a USED Car, there are three items that the seller must provide the buyer at the time of the sale:
1. The car title (this will be transferred to your name after the sale)
2. Acknowledgement of buying and selling letter (statement of ownership of the vehicle)
3. Emission Inspection Report
When Buying a NEW Car, the buyer must apply for the car title as soon as possible after the purchase of the vehicle. You cannot register your car and obtain license plates without a title. If you do not apply within 90 days of purchase or acquisition you may be charged a fee.
Consider bringing a prospective used car to a good mechanic BEFORE you buy it to have the car checked. This service may cost $50- $100, but it is well worth the expense. You can also check for an estimated value of a car at Kelley Blue Book ( http://www.kbb.com ).
Below are some automobile dealers close to the Wellesley Campus:
KO Dodge 781.235.6666
234 Worcester St.
Honda Village Inc. 888.946.4607
371 Washington St.
Newton Corner, MA
Wellesley Volkswagen 866.308.6605
231 Linden St. 781.431.4550
Toyota of Wellesley 781.237.2970
216 Worcester Road
Lee Volvo 866.542.4533
962 Worcester Road
Foreign Motors 508.655.5350
West 253 North Main Street
Clay Chevrolet Hyundai 781.762.8300
391 Providence Hwy
Muzi Motors Inc. 800.219.1607 Chevrolet
557 Highland Avenue 800.296.8380 Ford
Auto Maintenance Shops
467 Washington St.
614 Moody Street
West Side Mobil
870 Worcester Street
Meineke Car Care Center
19 River Street
Center Automotive Inc
444 Hillside Avenue
Meineke Car Care Center
37 Waverly Street
Renting a Car
Rental rates vary depending on the car size and length of time of the rental. Budget , Hertz , Enterprise , Dollar, and Avis have online reservation systems with locations at Logan Airport and many offices around Boston. With locations in Framingham and Milford, Any Rate offers daily or long term rentals and does not charge a surcharge if you are over 21 years of age.
Hertz www.hertz.com 800.654.3131
Budget www.budget.com 800.527.0700
Enterprise www.enterprise.com 800.736.8222
Dollar www.dollar.com 800.800.4000
Avis www.avis.com 800.831.2847
Any Rate www.anyratecarrentals.com 508.879.741
Zipcar is a car sharing club available throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK. They can be found throughout the greater Boston area, parked in parking lots, at apartment buildings and on college campuses. With 24/7 "Zip car" access, you can “rent” one by the hour or by the day. The hourly rate includes gas, insurance and reserved parking. Simply reserve online, walk to the nearest car and drive away.
Wellesley College has two Zip cars on-campus. Membership for Wellesley students is $35/year. Students need to be at least 18 years old to join. Members 18-20 years old can use Zip cars only on the Wellesley campus. Members 21+ also have access to thousands of Zip cars all around Boston and other cities.
Who is eligible to become a Zip car member?
To be eligible, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old (18 for Wellesley students with use of Wellesley College Zip cars)
- Have a valid driver‘s license (from any country) and have been licensed for at least one year. If you have a Canadian license from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan, or the Yukon Territories, visit http://www.zipcar.com/apply/manual-states#ca . If you have a license from outside the U.S./Canada, visit http://www.zipcar.com/apply/foreign-drivers
- Have had no more than two “incidents” (moving violation PLUS accidents) in the past three years and no more than one incident in the past 18 months.
- Have had no major violations in the past three years.
- Have had no alcohol violations in the past seven years.
To find out more information:
Wellesley College Zip car information: http://www.zipcar.com/wellesley/
Zip car website: http://www.zipcar.com/how/
Telephone number: 866.494.7224