U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-22-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Sacramento CA
303 posts, read 402,946 times
Reputation: 353

Advertisements

Hey everyone!

So, the question above: Do you REALLY need a car in Boston? My partner and I have had one car between us for about five years. It's a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback, owned and insured by me. We're pretty sure we'll be living in an apartment complex right next to the Fenway stop on the green T line. Parking for the building is (get this) $400 a MONTH! I love my little car but the Kelly Blue Book puts its worth at about $6800 to $7600 right now, which is worth about 19 months of parking. So, we're trying to decide whether or not to bring the car or sell it here in KY before coming to Boston in October.

So, what do you locals think? Do I need a car in Boston??

Thanks so much! Your advice is VERY VERY appreciated!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-23-2013, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,528,280 times
Reputation: 3804
Quote:
Originally Posted by matryoshka4811 View Post
Hey everyone!

So, the question above: Do you REALLY need a car in Boston? My partner and I have had one car between us for about five years. It's a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback, owned and insured by me. We're pretty sure we'll be living in an apartment complex right next to the Fenway stop on the green T line. Parking for the building is (get this) $400 a MONTH! I love my little car but the Kelly Blue Book puts its worth at about $6800 to $7600 right now, which is worth about 19 months of parking. So, we're trying to decide whether or not to bring the car or sell it here in KY before coming to Boston in October.

So, what do you locals think? Do I need a car in Boston??

Thanks so much! Your advice is VERY VERY appreciated!!!
I lived w/o a car for many years. $400 is outrageous. Insurance in MA may run ya $2k a year on top of that. If you can walk/bike/or T to work, ditch the car. You can zip car hourly car rental if u need occasionally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 04:09 AM
 
1,390 posts, read 1,955,183 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by matryoshka4811 View Post
Hey everyone!

So, the question above: Do you REALLY need a car in Boston? My partner and I have had one car between us for about five years. It's a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback, owned and insured by me. We're pretty sure we'll be living in an apartment complex right next to the Fenway stop on the green T line. Parking for the building is (get this) $400 a MONTH! I love my little car but the Kelly Blue Book puts its worth at about $6800 to $7600 right now, which is worth about 19 months of parking. So, we're trying to decide whether or not to bring the car or sell it here in KY before coming to Boston in October.

So, what do you locals think? Do I need a car in Boston??

Thanks so much! Your advice is VERY VERY appreciated!!!
Is your apartment is Boston or Brookline?

Because if it is in Boston, you can get a resident sticker for free.

I lived in Boston with and without a car. I found it very isolating without one. You can't get everywhere with public transportation, including job opportunities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 04:49 AM
 
444 posts, read 459,906 times
Reputation: 383
I have a car because that's the easiest way for me to get to work (with public transit I would walk for 25 minutes and ride for about 5), but I haven't needed to use the car for anything other than getting to work. So if you can easily get to work without a car, I think you don't need it. Don't sell it until you both have jobs, though, because it may turn out that you'll want it.

Also $400 for parking is crazy. I pay $165 in Brookline (where you HAVE to pay because you can't park overnight on the street.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 05:40 AM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,208,696 times
Reputation: 2996
If the car is in great shape, I say keep it and find a cheaper alternative to that crazy $400 a month garage. You can find a monthly rental close to the Green line and use the car when you need it.

You will find many under $200 a month and that would be cheaper than using a Zipcar for a couple of weekends a month.
boston parking & storage classifieds - craigslist
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Quincy, Mass. (near Boston)
2,049 posts, read 3,460,267 times
Reputation: 1618
If you work normal business hours, and not the late or very early shift, you likely don't need the car. As said, use Zipcar or other competitors.

Cabs are $2.80 per mile plus starting fare of $2.60 plus waiting time in traffic. I love the subway but don't enjoy when it's packed -- or sometimes, you must wait for one or two cars to pass until you can squeeze in! -- but that's life.

You may be able to walk to work in 30 minutes or less from the Frnwsy, depending where you work...

Try Craigslist for comparisons of parking prices in the area. You'll find several ads, most likely.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Sacramento CA
303 posts, read 402,946 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris Wanchuk View Post
Is your apartment is Boston or Brookline?

Because if it is in Boston, you can get a resident sticker for free.

I lived in Boston with and without a car. I found it very isolating without one. You can't get everywhere with public transportation, including job opportunities.
The apartment is in Boston (02114). What is a resident sticker? That's probably a silly question but parking is pretty much free everywhere here in Louisville Ky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kharing View Post
If the car is in great shape, I say keep it and find a cheaper alternative to that crazy $400 a month garage. You can find a monthly rental close to the Green line and use the car when you need it.

You will find many under $200 a month and that would be cheaper than using a Zipcar for a couple of weekends a month.
boston parking & storage classifieds - craigslist
Thanks for that link! I didn't even know there were parking classifieds on Craigslist.

And, as far as work goes, I am an independent web contractor and my partner owns two tech businesses (the employees are all remote, spread across the country) so we both work out of our home and wouldn't be out driving in rush times. The car would primarily be for running errands or for driving back to Kentucky maybe a few times a year at most.

Thanks everyone! This is a ton of good advice so far.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 07:32 AM
 
1,390 posts, read 1,955,183 times
Reputation: 1547
Quote:
Originally Posted by matryoshka4811 View Post
The apartment is in Boston (02114). What is a resident sticker? That's probably a silly question but parking is pretty much free everywhere here in Louisville Ky.


Boston has areas designated in every neighborhood designated for parking for residents. All you need to do is register your car in Boston, and produce a bill at your address and you can get a parking sticker for free.

So unless you are nuts about your car and are worried it might get scratched, there is no need to pay for parking in a garage. Brookline on the other hand does not allow over-night parking which means you have to pay for off street parking.

Boston with no car can be done, but I always loved the feeling to go where I wanted, when I wanted. I have family in the area so perhaps that had something to do with it as well, but you can certainly explore much easier with a car.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 08:27 AM
 
538 posts, read 1,041,898 times
Reputation: 452
Boston is a great city if you do not need a car and for some, it is prefered. We have a good Transit system and a bazilion taxis.

Good friend of mine figured out that he saves money by using the Transit with a month to month pass and occasional car rentals for long distance needs. This is less expensive than care payments. Also, the parking can be tough and expensive in some areas.

I believe that where you are living, this may be the case as well.

Hope Boston is good to you
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2013, 08:46 AM
 
95 posts, read 212,690 times
Reputation: 214
My wife and I live here without a car, and have done so for the past two years. At times it is a bit annoying, but what you really have to decide is whether you are ready and ok with reorienting your life around not having a car. A few examples:

- If you are used to going to the grocery store once every two weeks and making a huge trip with tons of groceries, then you may have to learn to go once a week for smaller trips, as you won't want to carry that many groceries around. Also, if you have to do a zipcar every time you want to shop, it might start to eat up the savings from your not having a car.

- If you, like Morris above like to go where you want when you want (I am not denigrating this attitude, just noting it), then it can be a bit difficult, as even with the number of Zipcars around, you may find that all the ones near you are taken, etc. You should expect to live a slightly more localized life, keyed to where the T goes. For example, I like Union Square in Somerville a lot, but it is a pain in the butt to get there on the T from where I am, so I don't really go there very much.

- In this vein you have to get used to living on more of a schedule. The T, especially in that area runs pretty frequently and more or less reliably, but if you want to go somewhere on the commuter rails or Amtrak, you obviously can't show up at the station whenever you want expecting to leave for Gloucester or something, you have to pay attention to the schedule.

The tradeoffs for me are that owning a car is expensive in MA, even if you own it outright. You pay a decent bit on insurance, your DMV fees to transfer everything will be a couple hundred bucks when you get here, and people often don't take wear and tear on a car up here into account. They use salt and sand on the roads in the winter, and driving around Boston is actually pretty hard on vehicles. I have a close friend who is a mechanic at a reputable shop in JP and if you can believe it, he actually does not own a car, mainly because he told me that the wear and tear alone kills the value of anything you'd buy (i.e. untimed stop lights requiring you to hit the brakes constantly, the bad mixture of cold temperatures, low engine speeds - you typically don't get going more than a 25-35 on most streets here - and infrequent long trips can kill your engine). Further, I find driving in Boston to be frustrating. The streets are confusing to navigate, even with a gps, and it takes substantially more time to get used to them than other places. I find it less annoying to spend a little more time on the T and be able to read, relax, zone out, whatever than sitting in a car trying to figure out whether the right turn the gps is having me make ahead is the hard, soft, or semi-soft right!

It sounds as if you are set for a job. I too work from home for the most part, so that makes things pretty easy. My wife and I have saved enough from not owning a car here (we did have one for the first few months, but it mostly sat in front of our house, so we sold it) to take a few extra vacations, as well as enjoy more of what Boston has to offer. There are enough transit options between the commuter rails, zipcar and other car sharing programs, the T and friends who will be nice and give you rides from time to time (just don't turn into a mooch that constantly calls people begging them to take you places!).

I could go on here, but I don't want to make the post longer than it already is. Feel free to PM me if you have any other specific questions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts > Boston
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top