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Old 07-18-2011, 02:57 PM
 
Location: West Lafayette, IN
3 posts, read 7,385 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all,

I'm going to be working in Natick starting this August and am currently looking at places to live. I've found some nice places in Natick, but I've also found some in my price range that seem to be very nice in Brookline, near the D Branch of the Green Line. I think I'd enjoy Brookline a bit more than Natick because there seems to be way more to do within walking distance there (although I do know Natick has a mall on the north side of town). Living in Brookline would require me to commute every morning by riding the D-Line out to the Woodland stop and then catching the Green Line Shuttle MWRTA bus into Natick where I'll be working, and then doing the reverse every evening.

Out of curiosity, is this commute feasible? I've read stories of the Green Line being slow/unreliable, but I don't know if that applies to all branches and both directions at all times. I don't mind a commute of an hour or so if it's consistently the same amount of time, but if the T/bus are frequently late or unreliable then it's not worth it to me. I can't go test the commute for myself because I'm currently living about 1000 miles away.

If anyone has any experience with this or similar, please share! Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:51 PM
 
44 posts, read 159,063 times
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Lots to think about. Brookline and Newton (both on the Green Line) are gonig to be more expensive than Natick, as they are the first suburbs you get to beyond Boston city limits westward. Likewise, Wellesley (not on the Green Line, but next westward after Newton) is more pricey than Natick.

Living in Natick, you will spend less, but be reliant on -A.) the Commuter Rail, which will run into the city every 30-90 minutes depending on when you're going, or -B.) as you identified, the bus-to-Green Line option.

Can you rely on the T? Yes, millions do, and most days things are fine for most riders, messed up only by slow traffic and/or weather. But [this is my estimate!] a few times a month, riders are truly inconvenienced by a breakdown/accident/signaling problem. You've seen some accounts of it already - search Google or Globe archives and you'll see it is a reality, but I wouldn't deem it an unfeasible commute- just not ideal. :-)
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Boston
59 posts, read 136,331 times
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The D line is probably the most reliable of the Green Line branches simply because it does not run on the street. It is above ground, but it has it's own track so it isn't affected by traffic lights like the B, C, and E lines. That being said, there are certain unavoidable problems which occur from time to time, but for the most part, the T is very reliable.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:52 PM
 
5,817 posts, read 15,268,543 times
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Agree with Jfightin that the D branch is likely to be the fastest green line branch for the most part. Still, the transfer to the shuttle bus might be a pain, though the commute should be something you could manage.

By any chance will your workplace be near either of the commuter rail stops in Natick? This would still involve a transfer (green line to commuter rail), and the commuter rail costs more than the T, but if you'll be working near one of the train stations, taking the green line in to either Yawkey (at the times the commuter trains stop there) or Copley and then catching the commuter rail to Natick is another option to consider.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Stamford, CT
421 posts, read 1,313,565 times
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Woodland is a nice safe stop, but having to rely on a T to bus connection (especially a shuttle from there to natick) could equal some stressful mornings. Although the green line is a quick and easy ride, delays do happen so plan accordingly.

Coming from someone who made the commute from brookline to natick via car everyday for a few years, that would be my choice of transportation. Its a reverse commute, and although route 9 can back up, it should almost never take you more then 35-45 mins. A shuttle to a T just gets annoying. I'd say, give it a shot, but I'm pretty sure you'll be car shopping after a month or 2
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:59 AM
 
925 posts, read 2,632,213 times
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I used to take the D line and it was late about once a week. Not horribly late, just enough to be a little frustrating.

Also, if you're working for a larger employer in the Natick area you might check to see if they have any shuttle service. There are a few that do offer that there.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:22 AM
 
594 posts, read 1,577,641 times
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I personally wouldn't want to do that commute every day to tell you the truth, it sounds pretty hectic to me. I don't doubt that it's "feasible" though...I mean it's technically possible, but to me it sounds pretty harsh and you're likely to get really frustrated with it after a couple of weeks.

If it were me, I'd just move to Natick. That run every morning from Brookline is going to be a lot longer than it probably looks.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 1,043,390 times
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If you can afford it, I'd rent in Brookline and drive to Natick. Brookline is an awesome place to live, and the reverse commute wouldn't be bad. Plus, you'd have the T as a back up if you didn't want to drive, but at least you didn't have to rely on it every day.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,479 posts, read 6,973,735 times
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Honestly, I would consider the $$$ in this situation. I know and understand the allure of living in Brookline or other inner-Boston communities (I too would like to live in some areas). I love visiting those areas too. But the cost of living is high for all things (rent, food, utilities, especially since places to rent are older homes). Plus, given the suggestions above, you might have to turn to auto transportation, which means high(er) insurance rates, worrying about parking (whether it's included or searching for on-street parking) and then, a growing cost, gas prices. That 35-45 minute commute, both ways, in stop-and-go traffic sometimes will eat up a lot of gas. Depending on your car, you could spend $20-30/week on gas alone (and that's with today's prices).

Do the numbers. Compare the cost savings of Brookline vs. Natick, including over, say, 5 years (compounded at 0.5% - 4%, depending on where you put the savings). See where that gets you in each scenario and then see if it's still worth living in Brookline.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:49 AM
 
7,227 posts, read 6,640,465 times
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It all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want. I'd much rather put up with a less-than-perfect commute in order to enjoy my home life and for me, that means a walkable, urban area. Commuting for a lifestyle is just not something I want to do.

Can you contact your future employer and ask if any employees do this commute using the shuttle? Talking to people who really do it might help you better weigh the pros and cons.
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