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Old 01-29-2011, 06:53 AM
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Interested in people's experiences with daily commuting to Providence from Boston on the train (either Amtrak or MBTA commuter rail), especially in light of bad winter weather.

Someone recently told me that if I took a job in Providence, I wouldn't be able to hack the commute long-term. (I don't drive.) Which is making me think twice about looking in Providence for work.

I've read the threads about how to commute into Providence from Boston, but is it really terrible? The commuter rail was cancelled frequently during the recent snowstorms but I didn't read anything about Amtrak being thrown off kilter. Since I'd be relying 100% on the trains, their unreliability gives me pause.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:18 AM
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BTW I live in the heart of Boston and for various family reasons, would like to avoid moving to Providence.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:51 AM
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
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I've never done the commute regularly, but visited a friend a few months ago which allowed me to take the train back to Bos on a Monday around 7 am. It had just snowed a bit overnight that Sunday in November but the commute was nice. A bit long, but good to read or just nap.

I'd imagine Bos to Prov would be relatively empty.

Sure beats the Bonanza down there, for about the same price (even a tad cheaper?, although the bus drops you directly downtown unlike the rail.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:53 PM
Location: Dallas
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You have to check the hours. I don't think there is weekend service. As PP noted, there are buses as an alternative which is reasonable, bus the Bonanza bus station is on the East Side near Pawtucket.

I think you will run into times when transit will become tricky - weekends, late night, weather. If you're determined you can try it. I'm sure I got a Greyhound from Kennedy Plaza at 3am one night. Weather that would shut down the train would be car prohibitive as well. Actually storms are a reason to park the car and take the train. If the train can't make it, you need to stay home anyways.

You need to check times, account for occasional delays, weather, and how do you get from Kennedy Plaza to your work. PVD has a good bus and enough cabs but how well that works depends on where your facility is in PVD. Factor it in. All that considered, you'll probably have to predict a certain number of days which you will have to be absent or tardy due to commute issues. How many will that be and can your employer tolerate it.

There ya go, that's my 4 cents.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:42 AM
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As Bostonian08 points out, you need to check the timetables for the commuter rail: MBTA.com > Commuter Rail Maps and Schedules. Regardless of weather, the schedule appears to be more convenient for those commuting from Providence toward workplaces in Boston. Whether a Boston-to-Providence commute would work for you on commuter rail would depend on your work schedule. You'll find it's not the most convenient schedule for regular daytime work hours.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:40 PM
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I checked the MBTA and Amtrak, and it looks like there's only one train headed to Providence on the weekday mornings which will make it by the time I need to be there, and there's only one train back which would return to Boston at a reasonable hour. And then I'd have to taxi or bus it to my proposed workplace. With the blizzards this year, I wouldn't make it without severe suffering! Making me wonder.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:47 PM
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I'm a daily commuter from Providence to Boston by commuter rail since last Sept. Like previous posters said, there are more trains from Providence to Boston than the opposite direction. The train is pretty on-time during normal weather condition. When there is a big snow storm over night, I try to stay in Boston the night to avoid the hassle of delayed or cancelled train, so I don't know how bad when there is a big snow storm. But from my experience, the Amtrak train is much worse than commuter raill--at least from Providence to Boston direction, since all these trains are coming either from New York or DC. Many times, commuter rail runs normally, but Amtrack has serious delay up to 3 hours.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:14 AM
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That is good to know about Amtrak being late. I'd be heading from Boston to Providence in the morning, so not concerned about being late to work, but I definitely don't want to be waiting around for the train when I want to go home!
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:23 PM
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Clarification: Is it the regular Amtrak that is always delayed heading northbound to Boston, or is it the Acela also?
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