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Old 06-04-2009, 12:29 PM
1 posts, read 2,959 times
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We are a a family living in Maryland who will likely be relocating to the Boston area for my husband's new job at BU Medical campus. I am hoping to get some information on best suburbs for us. We have two children, aged 9 and 6.

I believe it is South Station that is closest to BU medical? (regarding commuter rail stops?) I am originally from Massachusetts but from Western Ma so am at a bit of a loss as to where to start looking. We definitely want to stay away from congested suburbs very close to the city (just a personal choice) and we both love the water but have heard that North Shore and South Shore offer horrible traffic and commuting times - true?

As for house budget, we're in the 600-700K range. Good public schools are a must.

Thank you to any and all for any information!

Last edited by pbstevens; 06-04-2009 at 12:51 PM.. Reason: write more specific title
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:59 PM
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Eastern MA has many lakes and ponds -- don't know if you had fresh water in mind but there's a lot of it. Wellesley has two lakes, Sharon has a big beautiful one, Sherborn too, Concord has the famous Walden, Lincoln has Flint's pond, and so on. You're right that the North and South Shore towns present traffic challenges although if public transit is an option then both now have good rail service. I'd say Back Bay Station is the closest of the railroad stations to BU Medical but the univ should have all the info on how to reach it via public transit. Some day the Silver Line will connect South Station with the South End but not yet. You can get from North Station via Orange Line to Back Bay or Mass Ave and then walk down to BU.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:28 PM
Location: Boston
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I would look at places like Plymouth, Hingham, Duxbury, Norwell, etc on the South Shore. Great schools and wonderful communities on/near the water. The commute along Route 3 into Boston can be a royal pain, but it's not as terrible as many make it out to be. There's also commuter Rail to South Station (the trains to these towns don't stop at Back Bay Station) as well as a commuter Ferry. Check www.mbta.com for more info on commuter options from different communities. O

If you want a bit quieter and prefer a lake to the ocean, check out Lakeville. Lakeville is a suburban community that contains part of two of the largest lakes in Massachusetts (Long Pond and Assawampsett Pond). Since it's a bit further from Boston than the other South Shore communities (about a 50 minute train ride from the Lakeville stop to South Station), your money will go a bit further and you can likely find a wonderful, new and large home on or adjacent to the water. The schools in Lakeville are very good, but maybe not quite as good as some of the inner suburbs (which really are some of the best in the nation).

I would also look at Sharon, Easton, and Sudbury as they're also less congested and have excellent schools.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Driving in from the North or South Shores is not much fun in my opinion. Coming from the west is a little better, but not that much at the height of the rush. If you move too far from the city, he will have a long commute because it will take at least 20 minutes to get from any of the commuter rail stations to BUMC.

MissionHill is right that Back Bay station is closest to BUMC, but it's not that close. I used to live across from BUMC, and it's at least a 20 minute walk or so, with no direct link by subway. There is the number 10 bus, which happily is a direct link, but will also add 15 minutes or more to the trip (travel time plus wait time). Only a few commuter rail lines (3 by my count) run into Back Bay station, however, and none are particularly near the water.

From South Station, you'd have to take the T (or walk) over to Tremont St for the Silver Line, or take the Red Line one stop outbound to Broadway for the 47 bus. Either way you're adding time to the commute. I don't really recommend it, and the Greenbush line running along the coastal towns on the South Shore does not run as often as most other lines. Check the schedules and you'll see.

You could live in a town with train service to North Station, then take the Orange line to Back Bay station for the 10 bus, or to Mass. Av. for the 1 bus (though that sits in traffic during rush hours).

Based on your criteria, I would recommend looking in Westwood or perhaps Canton or Sharon. They are not that far out, and are on the fastest line into Back Bay Station (actually only about 15 mins from Route 128 station in Westwood, which has ample parking, to Back Bay), so it would not be so onerous to combine the commuter rail with the rest of the journey. Westwood in particular is a woodsy town with highly regarded schools. I think you should be OK in your price range, but it is a fairly expensive town. Westwood is not on the water, but it's near some ponds, including the Blue Hills reservation, and not that far from South Shore towns such as Hingham.

The MBTA website, www.mbta.com, is helpful--it has the subway, commuter rail and bus maps and schedules.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:26 PM
Location: Brookline, MA
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The other posters are correct that there isn't a particularly good commuter train option for Boston Medical. However, I would inquire with HR about employee shuttle bus services to the different train stations.

Is it possible for your husband to obtain parking at the hospital? Even if he has to pay for it, it may not be too expensive compared to the cost of commuting and parking at the train stations on a daily basis.
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:02 PM
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I agree with shiver - there are quite a few employers that offer shuttles from the trains that would make your commute remarkably better.

I chose to live in Sherborn love it, and it sounds like you are looking for some of the same things we were. It's very quiet, has lots of open space & well maintained trails, a lovely pond for non-motorized recreation, good lot sizes -- and one of the very best school systems in the state (Gold Medal School ranking and rated as one of America's Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report). Please feel free to PM me if you'd like more info. Only problem is no commuter rail right in town. I take the train either from Natick or Wellesley, fairly close by.
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