Boston--staying out and using commuter rail

Feb 11th, 2009, 11:44 AM
  #1  
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Boston--staying out and using commuter rail

We are driving from Hyde Park NY to Maine and want to spend one day in Boston on the way. We'll arrive on a Sunday evening and need to book for 2 nights. We don't want to drive into Boston (did that once before) so looking at places to use commuter rail into the city. I've researched and checked schedules and looks like Natick might be a good choice. Appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thanks.
texasjo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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The Dedham Hilton has a very good reputation, and it is frequently available on Priceline at a good rate. It is just off I-95 but set behind the side of a hill, so it is not noisy. It has good commuter rail connections to Boston.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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IMHO, the hassle of taking the Commuter Rail into town and back far outweighs the potential hassle of driving to a hotel in Boston on a Sunday.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Did you think about what time of day you would want to leave your Boston area hotel to head to Maine? Don't forget traffic is very heavy during commuting hours (and it's surprising how much traffic there is a 6am). We have stayed at the Best Western Round House which is very convenient to Rt 93 and I think the parking was free. It's not a very good location but they have a shuttle to the nearest T and we always took a cab back. We did walk to the T one morning. Long walk, but do-able. Not an area you would want to walk around at night. The rooms are very comfortable and there's the classic free continental breakfast. I'd stay there again before I stayed on the outskirts but it really depends on whether you wanted to do things at night and take advantage of Boston's restaurants. Our visits are on weekends.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Not only is the Roundhouse in a dreadful location, but it's south of Boston so it's in a disadvantaged location for heading up to Maine in the AM, they'd have to go right through Boston.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 12:56 PM
  #6  
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The Indigo in Newton is both very close to I-95 and the Riverside MBTA (trolley/subway line) - ideal for your purposes.

http://www.newtonboutiquehotel.com/
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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:07 PM
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yk
 
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I was going to recommend the Indigo as well, which is @ Riverside Station. It is actually NOT a commuter rail station, but the last stop of the Green Line which is part of the subway system. While it can take 45mins to get into downtown, the benefit is that it runs frequently (like every 5-15mins) and it runs until the T stops at night, which is around midnight. In comparison, some commuter rail only runs 1x/hr during off-peak.

Other hotels that are near T station will be the ones in Sullivan Sq (Holiday Inn and La Quinta) which is near the Sullivan Sq Orange line T station.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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1 warning about Riverside is that it fills up quick on weekdays
tchoiniere is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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yk
 
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But the OP can park at the Indigo (complimentary) and then walk over to the Riverside Station. It is only a 5-min walk from the hotel to the Riverside station.
yk is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Couldn't remember how close the Indigo is to the station and missed the part of your post about it being at Riverside.
tchoiniere is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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The Riverside "T" line has many stops, some so close together you could almost throw a stick between them. I would prefer a commuter rail trip to THAT line, even given the Indigo.

Stayed at the LaQuinta in Somerville last week because of MGH visits - it was a nice hotel and had shuttles to T station (walkable daytime), North Station and MGH.

You might consider hotels in Woburn area - and take the MBTA Lowell Line commuter rail - there's the large Anderson Transportation Center you could park at, and there are some hotels (cannot remember which) near ATC. You'd be just off I-95 in order to resume your trip.

If you will be riding the T subway or bus, get the Charlie CARD (not the Charlie Ticket) and save on fares and the hassles of change. A card may be shared by multiple passengers. Get a Charlie Card from the attendant at the station and use cash, change, or credit cards to add value to it.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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I would say for convenience to both of your plans going to Maine and seeing Boston it would be best to stay North of Boston, if you don't want to stay in Boston.

rb_travelerxATyahoo gave a good recommendation with woburn. there are quite a few hotels near the andersen regional transporation center (RTC) in woburn. it would be difficult to walk to the station but there is a very large parking lot, and I bet the hotels run shuttles to and from, I've often seen hotel shuttles there. it is the commuter rail so it can be packed during rush hour and you would have to be limited by the time tables. plus it is literally right on the junction of Interstates 95 and 93 which will make it easy to drive to Maine from without needing to travel through Boston. also tons of restaurants and shopping in the area.
LizaMarie is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 05:53 PM
  #13  
yk
 
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I live about a 5-min drive from Riverside station, and I've taken it into the city many times. It takes about 30mins to get to Copley, and about 40 mins to get to Park Street. While it is a longish ride, it runs frequently, about every 5-15 minutes all day long.

The commuter rail ride from Woburn to North Station is a 27-min ride. Then you still need to transfer from North Station to the T to get to Park Street. And if you travel outside of peak hours, the commuter rail runs only once an hour.

Basically, I don't think the Green Line from Riverside takes any more time than the commuter rail from Woburn, plus it is more frequent and much cheaper.

Having said that, I think the hotels around Sullivan Sq will be a shorter T ride than Riverside.
yk is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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Thanks so much for all your replies. I'll check out all these suggestions. We do plan to use the T once we are in the city and I had all the routes mapped out so will have a look at those again also. Staying on one of the lines would eliminate the extra step of the commuter rail but staying North also makes sense. Oh, and thanks for heads-up on Charlie Card.

As for leaving on Tuesday morning, we will wait until about 9 AM. Sit in traffic on our own commutes (we live in metro area also) so we just wait it out when visiting other large cities.

Thanks all - looking forward to visiting Boston again even if only for one day. Plan to go to Kennedy Library and some of the historical sites we missed last visit.
texasjo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 07:46 PM
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yk
 
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2 more things:

1) As rb_travelerxATyahoo mentioned, for the plastic Charlie Card, you can simply use ONE card for multiple people. Since you said "we" I assume there's more than one person. All you need to do is the first person tap the Card, then pass the Card to the next person and repeat.

You can only get the plastic Charlie Card from a real person (ie, a T employee at the station), not from a machine.

2) If you do choose to stay at the Indigo Hotel in Newton, on your departure day, you can just hop on Rt 128 North/ I-95 North; which becomes I-95 North further up. This is basically a loop that goes around outside of Boston. By going this route, you avoid heading INTO Boston with all the nightmare traffic. Rt 128 will still have traffic, but should not be too bad after 9am anyway.
yk is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I was checking hotel reviews for Woburn on TripAdv and came across the following note from a poster who stayed out and rode commuter rail into Boston. It worked great for them but can anyone tell me about the Link Pass she refers to. Is that the same as the Charlie Card?

"Note: a One-day Link Pass costs $9.00 and gives unlimited access to buses and trains, including commuter rail and subway. It also includes the water taxi from the Long Wharf to the harbor where you can tour the USS Constitution and the other ship whose name escapes me. You can buy the Link Pass from machines at the T stations using credit card or cash. We paid $5.00 for daily parking up to 6 pm near Sullivan Station. (If you want to stay later downtown, cost would be another $5.00.)"


texasjo is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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yk
 
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Here's the info on the "Link Pass", which is the 1-day all-you-can-ride pass:
http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/passes/

You can either get a plastic Charlie Card and "load" a 1-day pass on it; OR
You can buy a paper 1-day pass

While the pass covers Unlimited travel on Subway, Local Bus, Inner Harbor Ferry, and Commuter Rail Zone 1A, the person on tripadvisor actually violated the rules if he/she used the pass on the commuter rail to/from Woburn. The pass only covers commuter rail in zone 1A, but Woburn/Anderson stop is actually in Zone 2, so you'd need to pay the difference in price for zone 2.

Zones link:
http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes...&sidebar=false
yk is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Thanks yk! I had looked at the zones/fares from the Natick station and then T fares inside the city. Must have missed the info on link.
I didn't see anything where one pass covered unlimited rides on both. Thanks for clarifying. Still looking at Woburn, Riverside and Sullivan Square hotels and train schedules.
texasjo is offline  
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