Commuter rail parking on North Shore
October 18, 2018 7:02 AM   Subscribe

I've been taking a bus from the North Shore of Massachusetts to Boston, but I'm tired of the creepy bus driver and the bad parking situation. I'm looking into other options. What's parking like at the MBTA stations in the Newburyport and Haverhill area?

Do parking lots tend to fill up at a specific time? Are there seats on the trains, or is it standing room only?

Any other details appreciated; there's not much information beyond parking pricing and locations on the MBTA website.
posted by marfa, texas to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (4 answers total)
If you get on a Newburyport train in Newburyport, you will always get a seat. And boarding at North Station, you'll get a seat 99% of the time that you get on the train, and 100% of the time if you board more than 1 minute before departure.

I can't speak to parking that far north. You can easily park at Salem every day I've tried all day long, though.
posted by bowbeacon at 7:42 AM on October 18, 2018

Well, the Haverhill station is the end of the line so you'd get a seat inbound and this site says parking fees were cut in half in August due to lack of use.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:55 AM on October 18, 2018

You can see on-time performance and ridership numbers at (an optimistic URL!)

More specifically:
Reliability with user-friendly navigation to move back through time and show peak vs off-peak stats.

Downloadable spreadsheets with reliability, ridership, and even customer survey responses.

A few years ago when I was a daily rider on the Providence line, it seemed like the Newburyport/Haverhill line was beset by delays, I think because of a drawbridge that often malfunctioned. They might have fixed that problem by now.
posted by underthehat at 11:08 AM on October 18, 2018

Newburyport parking is fine. It costs a few bucks a day, about $5 last I checked. You can't get away with street parking for free nearby - everyone posts the lot and tows, or tickets.

The line does have a lot of delays, and it also doesn't run all that frequently. The trip into Boston is about an hour and then add wherever you need to go from North Station.

I consider North Station to be a kind of hell. Do consider how much time you'd have to spend there waiting for your train. It is the most boring train station imaginable, and once you have read all the plaques on all the sports-figure statues, there is nothing left to do but sit on a hard bench inhaling the smell of sour McDonald's and hoping it's not a hockey game night. There are not many places nearby where you'd want to pass the time. Ideally you want to be able to time your travels so you never have to spend time there waiting for a train.
posted by Miko at 9:09 PM on October 18, 2018

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