Boston is frequently listed as one of the city's in the U.S. with the worst traffic and toughest commute, but there are several commuting alternatives to consider other than driving solo into the city. The Greater Boston area has one of the most sophisticated public transportation systems in the country, so home buyers relocating to the area don't need to panic about commuting to work.
Typically the farther away from the city a person resides, the more likely they are to consider driving into the city; however, many drive to the nearest subway, or “T” stop as it is know, or commuter rail line and take public transportation the majority of the way into work. The commute to and from work doesn't have to be the worst part of the day. The following are a list of commuting alternatives in and around Boston.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail covers the Greater Boston Area. It arrives and departs from two main hubs, North Station and South Station. From both stations, commuters have access to Amtrak, local buses, and subway lines. Its farthest stops in Massachusetts include Newburyport along the North Shore, Haverhill to
the north, Worcester to the west and Plymouth along the South Shore. The Providence/Stoughton line travels all the way to North Kingstown, Rhode Island, which is southwest from Boston. An advantage to taking the commuter rail is the free WiFi.
At certain commuter rail stops, Amtrak trains are also available. Amtrak makes stops at three major hubs, North Station, South Station, and Back Bay Station. While tickets are more expensive than other public transportation systems, Amtrak has less stops, making it faster than the commuter rail, and it is often less crowded.
The MBTA subway, commonly known as the ‘T’ by locals, consists of five color-coded lines that serve many Boston neighborhoods plus sections of Cambridge, Revere, Malden, Brookline, Newton, Milton and Quincy. The farther from the city you get on the train, the greater the chance you will have of getting a seat. Many subway stops outside of the city have commuter parking lots with relatively inexpensive parking rates.
Boston has an extensive bus system that reaches certain parts of the city the subway does not touch. The MBTA also offers express buses, which have less stops and take the highway into the city making it a faster commute.
Home buyers who purchase somewhere near Boston Harbor may consider taking an MBTA boat to work. There are two services, inner harbor and commuter routes. The inner harbor service connects Long Wharf waterfront to Boston Navy Yard in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. Commuter routes link Hingham, Hull, and Salem to Rose Wharf. The MBTA also offers boat rides to Logan International Airport.
If you prefer the comfort and solitude a car provides during a commute to and from work, consider joining a ride share program. Zip past the traffic in the HOV or heavily occupied vehicle lanes on Interstate 93 North and South. Don’t try to take these lanes solo though, it is strictly monitored by state police to make sure more than one person is in the car. Park & Ride Lots are available throughout Massachusetts for people wishing to carpool to work.