Most convenient Park and Ride options to Boston on I-90
February 22, 2019 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Hi everybody. I have to pick up a laptop on St. James Avenue in Boston for a temp assignment on Monday the 25th, and ideally I'm supposed to be there in the AM, though I've advised them that I'm not entirely sure when I'll get there. I live in Essex County, NY, which isn't exactly next door, and I hate driving in large cities as it makes me very tense and uncomfortable.

I was therefore wondering if anyone could recommend a good Park and Ride off of I-90 (preferably in Massachusetts rather than NY). It would need to be a facility from which frequent public transportation to Boston is available. Also, I don't know if this is feasible but if there's lodging within walking distance that would be a plus, as I'm considering spending Sunday night in the area. Any information regarding all of that, as well as parking fees, train/bus fare, and anything else you feel would be helpful to know would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
posted by DavidfromBA to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (10 answers total)
I hear you on hating driving in the city, but St. James Ave. is literally 2 blocks from an I-90 exit, and in a part of Boston where the streets are reasonably logical and parallel. It is probably easiest (and maybe even cheapest) to drive all the way.

If you want to drive all the way and don't want to worry about finding a meter, you could park at the Copley Center garage. It's expensive but you wouldn't need to be there long.

Or you could park at Riverside in Newton and take the Green Line in. You can park overnight there. Parking is paid via app (PayByPhone), which you will probably want to download ahead of time ($6 M-F, $3 weekends). Subway fare is $2.75 each way ($2.25 if you have the plastic CharlieCard).
posted by mskyle at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you can get to Worcester or Ashland, the commuter rail runs pretty consistently and reliably with cheap parking. You should be able to get to one of those stops without traffic being too bad or too congested. It would drop you off in Back Bay just a few blocks from St. James Avenue.

Here's a link to the train schedule.
posted by holmesian at 2:09 PM on February 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

There's plenty of lodging in walking distance of the area, but very little of it will be cheap. It's one of the busiest and most touristy parts of Boston. However you are visiting very much in the off-season so you could very well find a deal. Search for hotels or airbnbs in the Back Bay area. Your closest subway stop is likely to be Arlington on the green line but you're also very close to the Back Bay commuter rail stop and about 15 minutes walk from the red line at Park (though you could also take the green line to Park and switch to red there if you don't want to walk). Which is to say - you're in one of the best connected parts of Boston and you've got options when it comes to lodging.
posted by peacheater at 2:23 PM on February 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I would suggest you park at Riverside and take the Green Line into town. It's very easy to get to from the Weston Exit on I-90. There are at least one or two stops very close to St. James Ave.

Download and set up the parking app ahead of time. Trust me.

There is a hotel within walking distance of the station.

The commuter rail would be quicker but a lot of the parking lots fill up very early.
posted by bondcliff at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. I should probably point out that I'm part of the statistically insignificant minority of people that doesn't have a Smartphone, so I'll unfortunately have to make do without apps. Such is the depth of my depravity.
posted by DavidfromBA at 2:59 PM on February 22, 2019

Sadly then, you can't park at Riverside. I just went on a Twitter rant about this the other day. I'm still angry.

If you stay at the hotel near Riverside you can park there and walk the short distance to the station. Charlie Cards (the tickets used on the MBTA) are available at the station and as far as I know you don't need a smart phone to buy them.
posted by bondcliff at 3:14 PM on February 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

You do not need a smartphone to use the PayByPhone service. You can call them on a dumb phone or pay phone.

Edit: they will also invoice unpaid spots via mail for a $1 service charge.
posted by bowbeacon at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not a Bostonian but it seems strange that the only way to pay for parking would be with a smartphone, so I googled and found that you can register for a PayByPhoneaccount and pay for parking with a regular cell phone. Details here.
posted by lovelygirl at 6:53 PM on February 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

That’s my old work neighborhood, and there’s a Green Line T stop at the very corner (Arlington or Berkeley street).

You can also walk the few blocks from Bay Bay commuter rail station, which I did for a year or two. That lets you park damn near anywhere south of the Mass Pike (I90).

Print out the maps ahead of time, and the train timetables, from the MBtA web site.

You’ve got this. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:18 AM on February 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: ONE LAST UPDATE:

For anyone who's been tossing and turning at night wondering how it went: I drove almost all the way to Boston due to a comedy of errors. Just missed train from Ashland, MA (my own fault of course) which was supposed to enable me to avoid driving into Beantown; found out the next train was 2 and a half hours later so despite already having paid for parking I drove to the hotel directly, and arrived very late; found out the next day that I could have gone to NYC instead were it not for a miscommunication between the temp agency and my new employer, which as a former Jersey guy would have been a million times easier and cheaper [read: no hotel room]. For tedious reasons I won't get into I wasn't able to visit your city, though I do hope to return there under better circumstances to make amends in the not-too-distant future. The important thing is that I've rejoined the ranks of the gainfully employed, so thanks again to all of you for taking the time to help me!
posted by DavidfromBA at 6:13 PM on February 26, 2019

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