MBTA blog postings

MBTA Postings

Earliest: May 17, 2005Latest: July 1, 2018Total: 69

May 21, 2012

MBTA Advice

Here are some practical tips on using the Commuter Rail to/From Framingham via Back Bay station.With the upcoming increase in MBTA fares, this might be timely:

Starting July 1st, Framingham commuters will be paying $3.50 more round trip or $42 more a month to travel to/from Boston. It will now cost $16 to travel to/from Boston. If you purchase a monthly commuter pass, each trip will cost $12.60 in a 31 day month. (Assuming 20 business days.) This means it doesn't make sense to get a monthly pass if you only plan to travel to Boston less than 15 times. So if you are making some future vacation plans and can work from home, you may be better off to check to see if it makes sense to have a monthly pass that month.

MonthNumber of Business DaysCost Per Day
July21$12.00
August23$10.90
September19$13.26
October23$10.90
November20$12.60
December20$12.60

Get your MBTA monthly pass at work. Talk to your HR department about getting your passes via pre-tax and save a lot of money. You'll get the pass well in advance of the start of the month and will save a lot of money. Make sure to consult your tax consultant about this if you expense commuter passes on your tax forms.

Everything is more expensive at the Back Bay Station. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but everything is expensive at the MBTA station. For example, coffee is 10% cheaper at the Stuart Street Dunkin Donuts than it is at the Dunkin Donuts a the Back Bay train station. The only good thing about the shops at the station is that they are open early/later than most shops in the area.

If you pay $4 a day to park at the MBTA parking lot, look for alternative in the Framingham area. There's plenty of businesses that are willing to lease a space for you. Don't just rely on the signs, look around and see what business might be open to having you park in their lot for the day. It doesn't hurt to ask, if you don't ask, the answer will always be no.

Consider taking a the train in a different Zone. If you know someone who lives near a train station in Natick, Wellesley or Newton you may be able to park in their driveway and save money by taking a different zone. Note: Depending on which train you take, you may end up standing for the duration of you trip.

April 9, 2012
MBTA Car

Framingham Commuter Rail

Recently the MBTA Commuter Rail changed the Framingham/Worcester schedule to make room for changes being done at the Yawkey Way Station. As of April 2nd, many of the trains now arrive at their stations a bit earlier. For example, my regular 8:19 am Framingham train now arrives at 8:14 am.

My morning schedule isn't that flexible enough to arrive at the train station that much earlier and I have about a 50/50 chance of catching the train.

Today I found out that the MBTA is strictly enforcing that schedule. This morning, when I went to catch the morning train, the train literally left as I arrived at the train station. I wasn't just me; there were several of us that missed the train. I was about 10 steps away from the door as the train was moving and the conductor blew a horn and moved the train. The door was closed and there was no possible way to get on.

Granted I know that the Commuter Rail has to keep a schedule, but I can't believe that they turn away at least 8 passengers like that. There should be a rule that if there are 5 or more passengers at the loading platform, the train isn't allowed to leave.

By implementing this rule, it seems to be a simple solution to build better relations with many of the commuters that travel the Commuter Rail.

As a side note, one of the passengers told me that they wouldn't wait for the next train and would seek an alternative way to go to Boston.

I easily managed to catch the next train which arrived about 25 minutes later. Not a fun way to start the day.

December 29, 2011

Morning Commute

On my train commute, I have been spending my time reading. I notice that a lot of commuters read on the train. The most common thing that I see people read is the 'Boston Metro.'

The Boston MBTA has a quiet car, but I have found that most of the train is pretty quiet with people busy reading books or doing some work on their laptop. Every once in a while you'll hear someone on the phone.

From Framingham to Boston is about 45 minutes, in which I read about 25 pages. The number of pages depend on the level of book. For example, it took longer to read the 'Brief History of Time' because the complex subject matter.

Here are the following books that I have read since October:

  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century by Howie Carr
  • 2020 Vision by Stanley M. Davis
  • Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Developing, Leveraging, and Surviving Hypergrowth Markets (Collins Business Essentials) by Geoffrey A. Moore
  • If it Ain't Broke...Break It!: And Other Unconventional Wisdom for a Changing Business World by Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Now Reading:
  • Moneyball by Michael Lewis

October 27, 2011

Pearl Street Parking Garage

The distance from Framingham's Pearl Street Parking garage to the main waiting area of the MBTA train is .35 miles. Walking rapidly it takes about 6 minutes.

October 18, 2011

MBTA Parking in Framingham

Framingham Garage

In Framingham there are various choices when it comes to finding a place to park when taking the MBTA. There's a couple of things to consider. Monthly cost, and the location of the parking lot to the train station in bad weather and those days when you might be running late to catch the train.

The main MBTA parking lot, which is operated by the Central Parking, is near Howard Street and the train station. Parking is $4 a day, and you can get a monthly pass which costs $70 a month. The biggest problem with this parking lot is that it is always full. Monthly parking doesn't guaranteed you a parking space!

The Town of Framingham operates the following public parking facilities:

Pearl Street Garage - 289 parking spaces, located on Pearl Street, (across from the former Registry of Motor Vehicles). Spaces are sold by monthly permit. Rates are $65.00 per month for residents and $80.00 per month non-residents. There is an attendant on duty from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. This is the best option, but a long walk to the train station.

Waverly Street Commuter Lot - 65 spaces located next to Republic Plumbing, directly across the Framingham commuter rail station. Spaces are sold by monthly permit, rates are $90.00 per month. Since this is the most expensive lot there are always spaces available.

Hollis Court Lot - 89 parking spaces located near commuter rail station. Spaces are available for daily parking on first come, first serve basis. Lot is lighted at night. Rates are $4.00 per day.

Alternative Parking Lots:

Silton Glass - Parking is within easy walking distance of the Framingham MBTA Station Rates: $5 daily, $20 weekly, $50 monthly, $550 annually 612 Waverly St., Framingham, MA

Columbus Club - on Fountain Street Carl D'Aveta, president for that organization, says the club has offered parking for at least five years at $40 per month. About 20 commuters park there.

Orlando Enterprises Dumpsters and Demolition Site - on Cedar Street, is also offering discount parking for commuters. They are located right across from the Train Station. There's a sign in the window to call them about the Commuter Parking rates.

January 14, 2008

Snow Day 2.0

Today New England enountered a major snow storm that caused 457 Schools, Colleges/Universities and Day Cares to be closed.

The height of the storm happened during the morning commute and many commuters stayed home or took the MBTA. This is because of the storm that happened last month that cause a nightmare commute for many commuters. Newton, MA got about 7 inches of snow.

You can check out the complete list as posted on WHDH.com at 6am this morning.

December 18, 2007

MBTA Delays

Traindelays

The MBTA was experience delays this morning due to the cold weather. This morning I waited almost a 1/2 hour in the freezing cold waiting for the train. Most commuters left after about 25 minutes.

The MBTA should have a better system in place to let commuters know about train delays. Hopefully they will fix this in the future. I feel sorry for the people that were in the train waiting to get into Boston. Wonder if the commute will be better tonight if the cold air continues.

October 30, 2007

Boston South Station

This week I am doing an installation at a customer site near the South Station MBTA Terminal in Boston, Massachusetts. I have been taken the MBTA train from Newtonville in every day.

Its amazing how quickly you can get to Boston from Newtonville than to take the 'T' from Woodland or from Riverside. Ts three stops from the Newtonville station to South Station. If you take the Riverside Green Line, at three stops you still in Newton and miles away from the city of Boston.

The only "downside" is that I have to stand during the whole trip to Boston, but its a short trip so I don't mind. There's plenty of 8 hour parking across the street from Shaws, and it cost .50 an hour or $4 for 8 hours. Plus there's a Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts near the station, so riders can pick up a treat on their way in.

There's plenty of shops and resturants in South Station. However, I think along the Amtrak northern corridor station the best station has to be Grand Central Station in Washington DC.

May 17, 2005

The Charlie Card

This morning Fox Morning News covered the new Charlie Card, that will replace the tokens that the MBTA is currently using.

One of the disadvantages of the Charlie card is that it will be a lot easier for the MBTA to change prices on different routes.

All you have to do is look at the chart at any Washington METRO station to see how much it cost to go between stations. That chart is coming to a T station near you....