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How do I get there from here? (Lexington/Burlington MA)
September 27, 2008 8:52 PM   Subscribe

I'll be travelling from NYC to Boston via bus or train (as yet undecided, probably bus) on Columbus Day weekend. That part is easy, it's getting from South Station or Greyhound in Newton to my destination that's challenging me.

Where I ultimately need to go is NW of Boston in the Lexington or Burlington areas (can be picked up in either). I had thought I could go from South Station to Riverside via the T but according to MBTA's Trip Planner, that's 2h20min. I don't think so.

So then I figured Big Grey Dog to Newton (essentially Riverside) but it's another "can't get there from here" without going back into Boston on the green line and back out on the red, apparently. This can't be impossible to do. I'm not sure how commuters do it. Cars only?

Worse comes to worse, I can get access to a car here but really don't want to have to pick it up Friday night here in NY, pay to garage it overnight, spend gas, drive, then come back Monday, get the car back home and then come back to my apartment.

What I've also looked at: Zipcar (not economically feasible), Amtrak to Framingham and or Westwood (see also: can't get there from here), traditional rent-a-car (Hertz is at South Station and isn't bad for three days if I take Fungwah/Megabus up, costs are still down over self-drive with gas and hassle)

Am I spoiled from being too long in NYC? Can you really not get there from here? Bostonians, what are my options?

I've read the related, nothing appears to match. As always, thanks so much for all of your help!
posted by TravellingCari to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How about Wilmington, MA, on the commuter-rail Lowell line?
posted by grobstein at 9:14 PM on September 27, 2008


(Seems to be just a few miles out of Burlington?)
posted by grobstein at 9:16 PM on September 27, 2008


You could take Metro North to New Haven and then rent a car there.

There's a discount and the rental car place is supposedly right near the station.
posted by Jahaza at 9:19 PM on September 27, 2008


Trip Planner is cool, but it can be wonky - South Station to Riverside is two stops on the Red Line to Park (or you could get out and walk fifteen minutes up the street) and then a D-train Green Line trip of maybe half an hour out to Newton. No way is it 2 hours and twenty minutes.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:26 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


ETA: Also tried North Billerica on the Lowell line, apparently there's no service Saturday morning. Appears to be the same issue with Wilmington. I didn't know there was a N. Billerica station until this page decided to work.
posted by TravellingCari at 9:26 PM on September 27, 2008


Thanks moxiedoll for the reality check. I knew it couldn't be that long. I know the area fairly well, from a my-own-wheels point-of-view.

oh and to answer the question that came to my MeFi mail: getting picked up more central isn't an option, I'm going to visit my 84 year old aunt. She drives, but not that far out of her comfort zone and definitely not on 128 or the Pike.
posted by TravellingCari at 9:31 PM on September 27, 2008


Jahaza, thanks. Issue there is the cheapest car (Ford Focus) is 43.49 USD Weekend Day/, more than 2x Boston so even with the discount, I don't think it would work out. Thanks for the idea though!

Thanks all for the ideas so far, I'll be back online in the morning.
posted by TravellingCari at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2008


If you can be picked up in Newton, your Riverside idea would take about an hour and $2.
You also might want to look at some of the commuter rail lines - particularly the ones that leave from South Station (as opposed to having to take the Red Line to Park and then the Green Line to North Station). Here's one that goes through your aunt's neck of the woods.
Another option would be getting on the Red Line, taking it to Alewife (in Arlington or right on the border)... Arlington borders Lexington, and if your aunt is too spooked to highway drive (which she'd have to to get to Alewife) then you could just take a cab from there - maybe mapquest it to figure out the milage - at any rate, it'd be WAY cheaper than renting a car or any of the other crazy plans you've been kicking around.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:46 PM on September 27, 2008


Why don't you take the Red Line to Alewife, then hop on the 76 Bus, which goes right to the center of Lexington on its way to Hanscom AFB and Lincoln Lab?
posted by dseaton at 10:52 PM on September 27, 2008


I was just coming to second the Red Line > Alewife > 76 Bus suggestion, but when I checked the interactive schedule it looks like it doesn't run on weekends. BUT - check out the schedule .pdf on the right-hand side of that same page. It does have a Saturday schedule for an Alewife > Lex Ctr. route and schedule.
posted by cocoagirl at 3:50 AM on September 28, 2008


If Burlington is an option there's also the 350 bus that leaves from Alewife on the Red Line and definitely runs on Saturdays. map.
posted by FreezBoy at 5:56 AM on September 28, 2008


Yeah deseaton said it: take the red line at south station to alewife station and then take the 76 to lexington center, it will take about an hour.

Don't go to newton on the green line, not only is that miserable, but you can go to Lexington directly.
posted by pwally at 8:38 AM on September 28, 2008


FWIW: There IS Saturday morning service to North Billerica on the Lowell commuter rail line. You just need to tell the conductor when you board the train at North Station.
posted by diggerroo at 10:55 AM on September 28, 2008


Thanks all!

@moxiedoll: cab from Arlington etc. is definitely a viable option and less of a hassle then renting a car at SOuth Station.

@dseaton: ooh, 76 bus looks like a good option. My aunt is actually not that far from Hanscom so that's viable. 76 bus may stop even closer from where I could walk it and or get picked up very easly.

@Freezboy: thanks, apparently I wasn't looking right for bus routes. That and the trip planner, as someone said above, isn't always the best and I don't know public transport in the area.
posted by TravellingCari at 11:51 AM on September 28, 2008


The Minuteman bike trail runs from Alewife Station through Lexington to Bedford. Here's a map! You can take your bike on the Fung Wah, and (I believe) on the Red Line if it's not rush hour. Even if you don't have a bike, it should be 6 or 7 miles and the trail is pleasant.
posted by clockwork at 9:12 PM on September 29, 2008


Clockwork: ooh bike is an option, thanks!

To all: if anyone's watching, the wrench in the works with the 76 bus is it appears there's no inbound service on Monday due to the holiday. I think what I may do is bus/bike (depending on weather, if the forecast for the weekend holds true I'm not bringing the bike up just to get wet) it from Alewife and then cab it back Monday. All relatively less hassle than driving from here, renting a car, etc.
posted by TravellingCari at 5:15 AM on October 7, 2008


Resolution (and marking of a number of bests)

In the event anyone is looking for an answer, I took the red line to Alewife where I intended to catch the 62 but the 62 runs joint with the 76 on a hybrid of their routes on weekends (and today as a holiday) to the VA hospital, which suited me fine.

Thanks all!
posted by TravellingCari at 6:04 PM on October 13, 2008


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