September 5, 2013

Driving to Boston

This morning I had to drive into Boston because I need to go to the airport tonight. This is the first time that I drove into Boston for work. For the past 2 years, I have taken the MBTA Commuter Rail from Framingham.

Factoid:
Framingham Commuter Rail to Back Bay: 45 mins (P516)
Driving to Back Bay via Mass Pike Exit 13:  38 mins

I arrived into the office 15 minutes earlier than usual. I save additional time by parking underneath the building normally I would have a 10 minute walk from BackBay. I was impressed on how quickly I got in since there was a fair amount of traffic on the Mass Pike by the Weston Tolls and just before the Star Market overpass.

When I was on the Mass Pike in Newton and Brighton I saw the P510, Framingham 8am local, train go by. This train left Framingham the same time I did.  My usual train the P516, 9:11 express train was still in route someplace in Wellesley.

It wasn’t all that bad dealing with the peak of the rush hour on the Mass Pike. Traffic might have been slightly less than normal because of Rosh Hashanah.

My Mass Pike Tip: Stay in the left Fast Pass lane at the Weston tolls. This makes the merge after the toll a little easy since you only have to worry about the traffic on your right.

My Speen Street Tip: Stay in the right lane on Speen Street after the Home Depot light in Natick. That puts you in the correct lane to take a left on Cochituate and makes it easy to get on the Mass Pike. Just watch for cars making sudden lane changes as you get near the on ramp.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this commute everyday. Taking the train does has its advantages such as, reading books, responding to emails, doing some daily prep work and more importantly the overall cost savings. The Monthly Garage Parking in Boston starts at $305 a month, plus MassPike Tolls and gas. A monthly commuter rail ticket cost $252, plus local parking, which usually ends up still being cheaper than parking in Boston.

Taking the train is more predictable than driving into Boston, while there has been a few delays, for the most part you can be certain that 85% of the time it takes 45 minutes to get to/from Framingham to Boston regardless of weather conditions.

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