The journey to the starting line of the Boston Marathon begins long before race day. It takes athletes months of rigorous training, speed work, and anti-chafing balm before they’re ready to ride a bus to Hopkinton.

Keep your running club’s members comfortable the entire weekend with private bus transportation. A bus can save them time and reduce stress as they approach Monday’s race.

take a bus to boston marathon finish line

From Your Hometown to Boston

If you’re coming from out of town, consider offering members (as well as their friends and family) a ride from your headquarters to Boston. Passengers on a full-sized charter bus often pay less per person than they would for a plane ticket.

For groups who decide to fly, a minibus can serve as your personalized airport and hotel shuttle. The marathon attracts over 500,000 spectators and athletes, causing public transportation to become congested. Help your members avoid long wait times with a private coach.

Most charter bus service providers have a five-hour minimum. To get the most value from your bus, ask your members to schedule their flight arrivals for the same morning or afternoon. Your driver can make continuous runs between the airport and your hotel for the duration of your rental.

From Boston to the Hopkinton Starting Line

Runners can take the Boston Athletic Association’s shuttles to Hopkinton, but they’ll spend the hour-long ride on school buses with stiff seats and restricted legroom. Because of this, many running clubs choose to rent a private charter bus.

Modern motorcoaches have plush seats, ample legroom, and arm rests for a comfortable ride. Many models also include an on-board restroom, which is a blessing to runners chugging water to stay hydrated.

Before boarding the BAA’s buses, runners must leave their gear bags at Boston Common. They are only allowed to bring with them the small, clear “Start Area Bag” that is issued in their race packet.

Unlike the BAA’s shuttles, private buses allow runners to bring gear bags and personal belongings with them. Runners can store gear bags in their motorcoach’s luggage compartments and personal belongings in the overhead bins inside. During the ride, they can read, listen to music, watch a movie, eat snacks, use the restroom, and more. It’s important to note, however, that all bags except Start Area Bags must stay on the bus once you arrive in Hopkinton.

Once your group arrives at the Athletes’ Village, the bus serves as a warm, dry base of operations. After the start of the fourth wave, your driver can drop spectators of at the finish line in Boston before parking off-site until the end of the race.

The Boston Marathon Athletes’ Village
The Boston Marathon Athletes’ Village.

Tips for Successful Boston Marathon Transportation

  1. Contact the Boston Athletic Association to request an application for their Club Bus Parking program. Applications are emailed out in February or March, and there is a $150 fee to apply. You’ll need this authorization to park at Hopkinton and stay after the race begins.
  2. Book your bus transportation at least a month in advance to ensure availability. If you’ve never rented a bus before, check out our detailed beginner’s guide to charter bus rentals.
  3. Clearly communicate your transportation plan to your club’s members before the trip. Make sure everyone is aware of bus pickup locations and times, and gather their contact information in case anyone is late.
  4. On the day of the race, head out as early as possible to get a parking spot in Hopkinton. Roads close near the starting line at 7:00 a.m., so plan to be in your parking spot by 6:45 a.m. at the latest.
  5. Before race day, complete a “dress rehearsal” of your pre-race routine, including the bus ride. Boston Marathon runner Cindy Kuzma simulates the hour-long bus ride in her living room recliner.
Cindy Kuzma prepares for the Boston Marathon with a simulated bus ride.

Afterwards, she walks to the the Chicago Lakefront Trail, which is approximately the same distance as the Athletes’ Village to the marathon’s starting line. This allows her to determine how her body will perform after sitting in one spot before the race. This ritual helped her shave a minute off her best Boston Marathon time.

Ready to schedule your Boston Marathon transportation? Our friendly reservation specialists will pair you with the best bus for your group’s size and itinerary. They’re also available to answer questions and provide you with a no-obligation, personalized quote. Call us today at 1-855-826-6770!