Monday, December 27, 2004

Six cities that make transit easy, cheap
By Harriet Baskas, special for USA TODAY

Many cities make it easy to get to downtown from the airport — in a car. In most cities, visitors are directed from baggage claim to a waiting line of cabs and shuttle vans. (Related: How to get around crazy cities)

But there are some where public transit is fast, easy and cheap. Here are six to try.

•Boston Logan International Airport. A free shuttle bus runs from the terminals to the nearby MBTA — or "T" — subway Airport Station. From there, the Blue Line ride into downtown Boston takes about a half hour. Fare: $1.25. Water taxi and boat service is also available from Logan to Rowes Wharf (Boston Harbor Hotel) and other area cities and towns. More information:;

•Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) Blue Line reaches downtown Chicago in about 45 minutes. The station is accessible via pedestrian tunnels from Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Fare: $1.75. More information:;

•Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Reach the Metrorail station via a pedestrian walkway from Terminals B and C. The Blue and Yellow lines run from the airport into the city. Fares vary by station destination and time of day. For example: From the airport to the Smithsonian stop, on Independence Avenue is $1.35 during off-peak hours, $1.50 during peak hours. It takes about 15 minutes. More information:;

•San Francisco International Airport. BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, makes the trip from the SFO BART station to downtown San Francisco in about 30 minutes. The station is on the G gates side of the International Terminal on Level 3 (the departure/ticketing level). Fare: $4.95. More information:;; (cable cars, streetcars, subway, buses).

•Portland (Ore.) International Airport. MAX Red Line light rail service runs from the airport to downtown in about 40 minutes. Fare: $1.65. More information:;

•Philadelphia International Airport. The SEPTA R1 High Speed Rail Line runs from the airport to downtown in about half an hour. Fare: $5.50. More information:;

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