Boston is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is the largest city in New England and the 24th largest city in the United States. The city is the anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area called Greater Boston (Brookline, Newton, Needham, Weston and Wellesley). Its rich history attracts many tourists with several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. Of Boston's many firsts, the United States' first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and first subway system (1897) are of particular mention. The area's many colleges and universities make Boston an international center of higher education and medicine, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation for a variety of reasons. Boston's economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, and government activities.
With nearly a third of Bostonians using public transit for their commute to work, Boston has the fifth- highest rate of public transit usage in the country. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA—known as the "T") operates the oldest underground rapid transit system in the Americas, and is the fourth busiest rapid transit system in the country, with 65.5 miles (105 km) of track on four lines. The MBTA also operates busy bus and commuter rail networks, and water shuttles. Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Chicago lines originate at South Station, which serves as a major intermodal transportation hub, and stop at Back Bay. Fast Northeast Corridor trains, which serve New York City, Washington, D.C., and points in between, also stop at Route 128 Station in the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Logan Airport, located in East Boston and operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), is Boston's principal airport. Downtown Boston's streets grew organically, so they do not form a planned grid unlike those in later- developed Back Bay, East Boston, the South End, and South Boston. Nicknamed "The Walking City", Boston hosts more pedestrian commuters than do other comparably populated cities. Owing to factors such as the compactness of the city and large student population, 13 percent of the population commutes by foot, making it the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters in the country out of the major American cities. In 2011, Walk Score ranked Boston the third most walkable city in the United States. As of 2013, Walk Score still ranks Boston as the third most walkable US city, with a Walk Score of 79, a Transit Score of 74, and a Bike Score of 68-- since then Boston has been named the "Future Best City" for biking.
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