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MBTA's Blue Line to be free most of summer during Sumner Tunnel shutdown

Blue Line to be free most of summer during Sumner Tunnel shutdown
Blue Line to be free most of summer during Sumner Tunnel shutdown 02:15

BOSTON - The MBTA's Blue Line will be free for nearly two months this summer while the Sumner Tunnel is closed for repairs.

The tunnel will be completely shut down from Wednesday, July 5 through Thursday, August 31.

So, to make life a little easier for everyone travelling between East Boston and downtown, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced some other options for commuters.

In addition to the free Blue Line rides, there will be free and discounted ferry service, new ferry service to and from Lynn, reduced fares on the commuter rail and toll discounts for everyone heading to Logan Airport this summer.

Here is the full plan from MassDOT released Friday: 


MBTA Blue Line and Parking

  • The entire Blue Line in both directions will be free to riders. Gates will be open at all Blue Line stations from Wonderland to Bowdoin.
  • An additional train will be added to the Blue Line in the midday period to help support more riders riding the line.
  • All MBTA parking lots and garages on the Blue Line will be reduced to $2/day. Additional free parking is available near Wood Island Station.
  • Visit for additional information.

Discounted Tolls

  • Discounted tolls will be provided for the Tobin Bridge and Ted Williams Tunnel for those registered in the Resident Discount Program.
  • Real Time Traffic monitoring will be available at 13 local intersections.

East Boston Ferry

  • The East Boston ferry will be free during the tunnel's closure. 
  • The East Boston ferry service project operates between East Boston at Lewis Mall and the downtown Boston area at Long Wharf. East Boston ferry service schedules are available online with all ferry service schedules available at


Commuter Rail and Parking

  • Zone 1A ($2.40) fares from Salem and Swampscott Commuter Rail. Parking at Salem and Swampscott is just $2 per day.
  • Free parking at lots north of Salem, including Beverly, Gloucester, Hamilton/Wenham, Newburyport, North Beverly, Monserrat, Rowley, and West Gloucester.
  • Blue Line benefits also apply. Travelers are encouraged to utilize the Wonderland Station parking lot if coming from the North Shore.

Lynn Ferry

  • The Lynn Ferry will operate between the Blossom St. dock in Lynn to Central Wharf in Boston (near Aquarium).
  • Free parking at the City of Lynn-owned lot will be available near the Blossom St. dock. Bicycles are allowed on the ferry.
  • Riders may use a Zone 1A fare ($2.40).
  • The Lynn Ferry will operate five days/week on weekdays only, with 10 trips per day. Schedules are being finalized and will be released as soon as they're available.


Logan Express 

  • There will be a 25% discount when you buy tickets online, and children under 17 ride free.
  • Adding additional parking capacity at Braintree Logan Express.
  • MBTA Silver Line (SL1 & SL3) buses can use the I-90 EB Emergency Ramp.
  • "Skip the Security Line" at Logan will be available for all water transportation users (must show ticket).
  • Added stop at Logan Airport by the Winthrop Ferry.

The Sumner Tunnel is nearly 100 years old and is the first traffic tunnel in Massachusetts. It's one of four ways into the city and it's the main connection for East Boston and the airport.

MassDOT said the tunnel will be shut down again for about two months in the summer of 2024 as well.

The Sumner Tunnel Restoration Project is expected to cost about $160 million.

For more information, click here.

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