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Old 03-04-2011, 01:24 AM
 
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My wife and I are moving to the Boston area. She has to work in Cambridge and I in Beverly. We want to find place in-between so that we have about the same commute. I have heard from friends Medford, Arlington, Sommerville, and even Swampscott. I would appreciate any feedback you could give, especially for the reverse commute to Beverly and the public transportation to Cambridge. Thank-you!
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Your budget, how big a place you want, if you want to rent or buy and whether you want suburban or urban, quiet or nightlife, would help answer the question.

You might look in Melrose or Wakefield. Both are nice towns roughly in the middle. Less urban than Somerville or Medford (at least the eastern half of Medford). Less expensive than Arlington, which is nice but might be a tough commute to Beverly. The reverse commute from Melrose or Wakefield to Beverly shouldn't be too bad. From either of those towns you can go up 93 or Route 1 to 128. From Wakefield you can just go through the streets up to 128.

For Cambridge it's 20-25 mins from these towns to North Station via commuter rail. Where in Cambridge is the job? It matters a lot in terms of public transit. Cambridge can be tough to reach by public transit from the north, despite being on the north side of the river. If the job's near Lechmere, it's two quick Green Line stops from North Station. But otherwise Cambridge is largely served by the Red Line. To access the Red Line from North Station requires a trip to Park St or DTX on the Green or Orange lines, which adds significant time. There is a shuttle from North Station to East Cambridge/Kendall but I don't know how frequent or quick it is.

Another option, though perhaps not ideal, is to take commuter rail to Malden Center, then take the Orange Line 2 stops to Sullivan Square, where there are buses heading toward Cambridge. CT-2 bus? Again, whether this makes sense depends on if the job is located near that bus. In theory it's ~5 min from Melrose to Malden on the train, then 2 stops on the Orange should be quick. The bus from Sullivan to Kendall is maybe 20 mins. Total maybe 30 mins plus wait time. Taking three different modes of transit could add up to a lot of wait time, though. For that reason, to have a commute equal in time, you might want to look closer to Cambridge.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
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what are you looking for...suburban or urban? Beverly is on the commuter rail that leaves out of North Station. If you wanted an urban area, you could live near North Station (lots of cool areas around there) and then she could either drive (reverse commute wouldn't be terrible) or take the commuter rail, and you could get to Cambridge easily on the T (depending on where you are working in Cambridge, of course).

If you wanted a more suburban environment, maybe Medford, Melrose, or Winchester would work. But keep in mind that if you want an equal commute, you'll want to be closer distance-wise to Cambridge because of the direction of traffic. If you lived in Swampscott it would take you forever to get to Cambridge in the morning. If you lived in Arlington, it would probably take your wife quite a while to get to Beverly. Ditto Somerville.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
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Depending on where she works in Cambridge, public transportation can be tricky.

I would say a town like Melrose, Medford or Saugus would give her pretty good options for commuter rail, subway or bus. The reverse commute up 128 to Beverly will be no problem.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Thank-you for your responses so far! Here's some more detail. We want a more suburban feel as we have been living urban for quite some time. She works a few minutes from Harvard Station, so it would be convenient to get her on the red line. Ideally, we would like her to have a less than 30 minute commute (me too!).

It seems like a tough problem (me to Beverley, her to Cambridge) but I am all ears.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 897,967 times
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Hmmm.... I'm not sure the math will work out exactly for you commute-wise if you need public transport. It might work if you both drive (assuming your wife can park in Harvard Square).

The problem is that Cambridge is not directly connected to any North-bound trains. To get from the north-bound commuter trains to Cambridge means switching twice (once at North Station, and again at Park Street to get onto the red line to Cambridge). That would make for a long commute, even if you lived just outside the city.

If you can both drive, then Winchester, Melrose, or Stoneham are suburban in feel and might be a reasonable drive, though I can tell you that even from Winchester to Harvard Square in the morning driving is going to be 30 minutes on a good day and Melrose and Stoneham are farther.

If she can't drive to H. sq., then to get to H. Sq in 30 minutes or less by public transport you'll need to be in Arlington, Belmont, or Somerville (I might be missing someplace else though).

The only real solution to the commute problem that i can think of is to live downtown, in the MGH area (West End of Boston). There are some wonderful neighborhoods there, but of course, it'll be urban.

Good luck!!!
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Hmmm. Other than going downtown and back out, the only available commute to Harvard exclusively by train would be the Red Line from Alewife or the Fitchburg commuter rail to Porter and the Red Line one stop from there. That line, though goes out to the NW, which is not ideal for someone going to Beverly. It would be better to be straight north if not NE. The 86 bus does go from Sullivan on the Orange Line to Harvard in about 20 mins. Maybe something farther up the Orange Line would work, although to be truly suburban you'd probably need to go past the end of the Orange Line, which would require taking the commuter rail to the Orange Line to the bus.

Arlington is an option though I don't know if you can make it to Beverly in half an hour. It's out of the way to take Route 2 out to 128, and taking either Route 3 to 128 or Route 16 to 93 involves a lot of driving on local streets, which is slow.

One other possibility is West Medford. You can cut across Lawrence Rd to get to 93 North, and there is a bus to Davis Square, which is only 2 Red Line stops from Harvard. There's also a bus from the Tufts part of Medford all the way to Harvard. You'd want to check the schedules though.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:12 PM
aea
 
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Live in Beverly; worked at MIT many years. If you want suburban, just live in Beverly and take the train to town. Beverly has three stations; so very easy access to North Station, frequent trains all day. From north Station, switch to Red Line. Can be done door-to-door in 50 minutes (includes walk to and from train). A hassle for one of you, but a whole lot less hassle than double commutes; don't know anywhere that gives a 30 minute commute. Congestion in and around Boston/Cambridge is a bear; driving/parking from anywhere is a headache unless your work gives you deeded parking. (It can take an hour just to get from MIT to Harvard--a whole two miles.) If you want a more rural feel, Beverly is not your best bet, but "where" is more personal preference--and country burbs have fewer trains. The North Shore is nice area.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:23 PM
aea
 
13 posts, read 25,152 times
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Live in Beverly; worked at MIT many years. If you want suburban, just live in Beverly and take the train to town. Beverly has three stations; very easy access to North Station, then switch to Red Line. Can be done door-to-door in 50 minutes (includes walk to and from train). A hassle for one of you, but a whole lot less hassle than double commutes; don't know anywhere that gives a 30 minute commute. Congestion in and around Boston/Cambridge is a bear; driving/parking from anywhere is a headache unless your work gives you deeded parking. (It can take an hour just to get from MIT to Harvard--a whole two miles.) If you want suburban to rural feel, Beverly is not your best bet, but "where" is more personal preference--and country burbs have fewer trains.

Just tried to edit this to add that the cost factor of commuting with two cars (gas expense and MA car insurance) may be worth looking at too--the train may well worth considering. Not sure edit will work, so may re-post.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:33 AM
 
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Keep them coming. The more advice the better.

We found out she can park in Cambridge for a nominal fee (suh-weet), so we both can use our cars. Would this open up more affordable housing in West Medford or Somerville? It doesn't really matter where I hit the 93 (right?) as long as she can drive into Cambridge?
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