Landing at Logan, Staying in Woburn, going to Fenway--train or cab?
April 30, 2015 1:06 AM   Subscribe

First time in Boston and going to go see a Red Sox game this weekend. Flying into Logan, staying at a hotel in Woburn (very close to the Anderson Regional Transportation Center,) and will be going to Fenway on Friday. What is the best way to go?

The hotel is directly off 95, so I'll probably cab from/to the airport; my guess looking at distances and estimating based on similar cities is that it is about a $30 fare or so? we will be close to a train station, and I am reasonably adept at public transportation, so I'm thinking of doing that to/from the ballpark. My question is does anyone know the approximate travel time to/from Fenway from Woburn on a Friday? How many transfers? I looked at the MBTA website, and given enough time I could suss it out I'm sure, but just wondering if anyone has any good advice. I will be traveling with my old man, who is 67, albeit a pretty spry 67. But if the train is going to be super packed on a Friday or confusing or just annoying, I'm possibly willing to cab to the ballpark, although my guess is that it might be pretty pricy as it looks to be mostly surface roads. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
posted by holybagel to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Let me distill this into actual questions:

1. Is my estimate for a cab ride ($30, +/-$10 or so) accurate from Logan to Woburn?
2. What would a cab from Woburn (Near the Anderson train station) to Fenway Park cost?
3. What would a train from Woburn to Fenway Park cost and how long would it take/how many transfers would be involved on a Friday afternoon, and how confusing/crowded/unpleasant would it be?

Also, if anyone has recommendations on fun stuff to do/places to eat near Fenway for pregame, that's a bonus!
posted by holybagel at 1:54 AM on April 30, 2015

Are you staying in Woburn for another reason? If you are both flying in for the weekend, staying in the city would make much more sense. Can you stay Friday night in the city and go to Woburn on Saturday for your other plans up there?

What time of day are you arriving? I don't think a $30 cab is reasonable from Logan. I'd guess closer to $50 or $60 but someone with more direct experience will have a better answer. Are you flying in on Friday and then going to the game? That could be a lot of traffic to contend with.
posted by barnone at 2:09 AM on April 30, 2015

Response by poster: I left the old man in charge of booking a hotel, and he's kind of a cheapskate, and the reservation is nonrefundable. In his defense my 3 tries with AirBNB for something closer all fell through and any hotels much closer were outrageously priced. We fly in this evening around 530, and leave Saturday around noon. Renting a car is not a desirable option for a number of reasons.
posted by holybagel at 2:19 AM on April 30, 2015

I live in Arlington, which is 10 miles from Logan, and a cab costs between $40 and $50 - Uber is around $30. Woburn is 15 miles, so Uber should be about $45 and a conventional cab considerably more than that.

Public transport from Woburn is a commuter train in to North Station, they run infrequently and the trip takes about 1/2 hour. From North Station you take a green line subway to Fenway, trains are frequent but slow during rush hour, another 1/2 hour or more. The train will be fine, the green line will be crazy (ball game + rush hour), but less crazy than trying to get there by cab.
posted by mr vino at 2:38 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

The commuter rail would cost $6.25/ride, then you would transfer at North Station to the C branch of the green line, which is $2.65/ride (unless you have a CharlieCard, in which case it's $2.10, but I assume you don't) and take that to Kenmore. The stop named Fenway is farther away and you can only get to it from the D branch, which doesn't go to North Station during rush hour. So the total cost would be $17.80 each way for two people. There's a 6:05 train that would get you there right when the game starts (according to the schedule, which can't predict the future and doesn't take into account any possible delays), or you could take an earlier train if you want some time before the game - I used the Google Maps transit directions where you can either enter the time you want to arrive by, or use the "schedule explorer" to look at more possibilities, but you can also see the schedules on the MBTA site here or here, and add somewhere around half an hour to get to Fenway from North Station. It looks like a cab would take about half as long from Woburn, but would be more expensive (I don't know how much it would be, but probably more than $17.80).

The commuter rail shouldn't be too busy because you'll be going the opposite direction from most people at that time. The green line will definitely be crowded, but you'll be getting on at the first stop. The transfer is pretty easy - you want to be on the bottom green line platform (westbound) that's the same level as the orange line, and you can take a B, C, or D train but there probably won't be any B or Ds, just C and E, so you'll want the C.
posted by CJF at 2:39 AM on April 30, 2015

To go to/from the airport, the best way is the logan express woburn shuttle to that transit center. Follow the signs outside at the airport, pay when you arrive in woburn, I think it's $22 for a round trip, and very straightforward. So that part is fine.

However, I do agree that this isn't a great location either for Fenway, or for seeing the Boston area; it's fairly suburban/unwalkable, and a cab to the city from there would be really expensive.
posted by advil at 4:51 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've spent a lot of time in Woburn as I have family there. I haven't seen anybody suggest taking a short cab ride to the nearest T station, then taking the subway the rest of the way to the game. That should be far less expensive than a cab or Uber all the way in. It sounds like you went for a cheap hotel, so I'm guessing they don't have a shuttle, but it might be worth asking.
posted by COD at 5:21 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

The nearest subway stop to Woburn would be on the Orange Line, so you're still looking at a transfer downtown whether you do that or take the commuter rail.

The Green Line is broken up into different lettered branches. All of them except the "E" go to Kenmore, where you will disembark to go to Fenway. The Green Line downtown is just generally unpleasant, so if you have the option and want to walk from North Station I would recommend it. It's about 2.5 miles by foot.

If you're into cocktails at all, Eastern Standard is (surprisingly) a very popular pre-game watering hole in Kenmore. Very good drinks, in a nice classic French bistro type atmosphere. The Hawthorne next door would also be a good choice. For dinner, I'd recommend Sweet Cheeks BBQ.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:34 AM on April 30, 2015

Best answer: Is renting a car at all possible? Not to drive in to Boston proper - driving in Boston really is about as bad as everyone says. But with a rental car you'd have an easy way to get between the airport and your hotel, and you could drive it to Alewife or Oak Grove and take the subway in to the game. Just taking a quick peek on Kayak it looks like you can get a rental car for $25-30 a day.

Transferring from the commuter rail or the Orange Line to the Green Line to Fenway is not too bad - look for the sign that says "first car stops here," don't stand with all the other people who are on their way to the game. Then get into the middle of the car and stay there until Kenmore. Transferring to the Green Line from the Red Line at Park Street on a game day is really unpleasant.
posted by mskyle at 6:12 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Logan Express shuttle to Woburn. $12.00 one-way. Hell, you could even take that from Woburn to Logan and then take the T to Fenway.

As others have said, get to Boston Friday afternoon and hang out for a while. Getting back to Woburn after the game isn't going to be fun so, unless the game is a nail-biter, you might want to leave an inning or two early to beat the crowds.
posted by bondcliff at 6:19 AM on April 30, 2015

Cabs at any stage are going to be tricky. It's probably a $40-50 fare from the hotel to the airport, and taking a cab downtown for a Sox game might be an hour-long, $100 ride. A better bet, if your hotel is walking distance (or there's a shuttle) to the Woburn commuter rail stop. As others have said, that will put you in North Station. Walking to Fenway from North station is... aggressive. Yes, it's only 2.5 miles, but they're city miles, and Boston has an anti-engineered street pattern, and it will most likely take you between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, depending on the pace you can keep.

However, switching to the Green Line at North Station is a breeze. North Station is the first stop for most Green Line trains, so if you stand at the very front or very back entrance, you can probably get adjacent seats, and not worry when the car turns into a sardine can three stops later. There will be a huge exodus at Kenmore, but if you're not in a hurry, you can wait out the worst of the mob heading up the stairs.

Food options near Fenway: Island Creek Oyster House has treated me very well, and Eastern Standard is also nice. Make a reservation now, though, because they fill up quickly on game days.
posted by Mayor West at 6:23 AM on April 30, 2015

1.5 to 2.5 hours to walk from North Station to Fenway is absolutely absurd. I'm not saying they should walk it, but google maps very conservatively has it at 55 minutes. If you're walkers, 45 minutes seems reasonable to me.
posted by bowbeacon at 6:30 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Take a cab to Oak Grove (orange line) and switch to the Green Line at North Station. The cab will run you about 20 bucks from Woburn, and Oak Grove is the last stop on the Orange Line, so you'll know exactly where to go and will be going in the right direction. It shouldn't be that tough of a trip.
posted by xingcat at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2015

Your cab fare will be considerably more than $30 to Woburn; Taxi Fare Finder, which I've found fairly accurate in the past, estimates about double that at $60. For context, I have taken a cab from Logan to Harvard Business School (about 8 miles/half the distance to Woburn) which cost about $40; don't forget there is $7.50 on top of the flagfall and meter charges to cover airport and harbor tunnel tolls.
posted by andrewesque at 8:20 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Decided to just rent a car and go to a park and ride. Seems the best combination of convenience and cost. Thanks for all the advice; next time I'll have to be more organized on the hotel; work and personal considerations made this kind of a Charlie Foxtrot.
posted by holybagel at 8:22 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you have time on Friday, a good itinerary might be to take the commuter rail into North Station in the morning. Spend the morning walking around the North End and Boston Common area. Have an early lunch somewhere nice, maybe on a patio if the weather is cooperating. Then walk towards the Back Bay or Newbury area.

There are Green Line stations along Boylston in that area. Take the Green Line out to Fenway in the afternoon, around 3:30pm or so, getting off at Kenmore. You'll beat the rush-hour crush and get to see the Fenway area without a massive crowd. Then have a bite to eat and go into the game!
posted by barnone at 8:25 AM on April 30, 2015

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