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Old 12-14-2010, 02:57 PM
1 posts, read 9,401 times
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Hi, I have two potential job offers. One in Cambridge, and one in UMASS Medical Center in Worcester. My husband works in downtown Boston. No kids.

For the job positions themselves, UMASS seems better. However, to commute daily is a big factor to me too. I do not have a driver's license yet and will try to get it in 1-2 months.

If I go to UMASS, we plan to live nearby West Natick commuter rail station. How bad is it for my husband to take the train to go to South Station to work? I heard that the Framingham line is delayed very often, right? And for me, to drive daily for 35-40 mins, especially after long hours of a working day seems a little scary to me...but my friends all say that it is really no big deal, especially because it is in the opposite direction of most traffic.

My husband also thinks about driving to downtown Boston from Framingham where it is close to Rt 90, such as living in the Jefferson Hills condo.

Does anyone knows how long it will take to drive to downtown Boston from Framingham if he leaves home at 7AM? How early it needs to be to avoid the heavy traffic? And how long it takes to drive back Framingham from Boston at 5-6PM?

If I go to the place in Cambridge, it will be really convenient to live closeby and it takes my husband only 20 mins to go to work. But UMASS is definitely better for my future job-seeking. Should I consider the Cambridge one due to location and maybe better life?

Thanks so much for your input. We really appreciate it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:52 PM
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I don't do the driving commute from the Natick/Framingham area to Boston, so I can't give you time estimates for that commute. I can tell you that morning rush hours will have started by 7:00, so both the commute into town at that time and the commute back out in the 5-6 range would be longer than the times the mapping websites would list for these trips. If I worked regular hours on a daytime schedule and would not have a prohibitively long second leg of the commute after arriving in Boston, I would prefer to take the train from Natick or Framingham rather than driving, assuming the trains would be on time consistently.

As far as the question of whether the trains are punctual, I can give you some limited info based on personal experience, but can't give you the full picture. I ride trains on the Framingham/Worcester line about once every week or two. That's usually in the afternoon to early evening, so that my return trip usually will happen during late-afternoon/early-evening rush hours. I've been doing this about once every week or two for the past four years or so, and for about a year before that I rode the trains on that line on a similar schedule about four days each week. Based on that somewhat limited, yet still semi-regular, travel schedule on that commuter rail line I've found the trains to run solidly on time, maybe being five minutes or so late at times, with longer delays occasionally during off-peak hours.

If your husband would prefer driving, keep in mind that traffic to and from Boston at peak hours will be heavier than traffic between Natick/Fram. and Worcester, so, assuming you'd both be commuting during rush hours, the in-between location of the Natick/Fram. area would mean an easier commute to Worcester than to Boston.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:01 PM
Location: Ohio
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If you drive to Worcester, you should have an easy drive due to the opposite traffic (I've not done it myself as a daily commute but just guessing). 40 min is very typical - nothing to be scared about. I did drive that way during a weekend and the traffic was stand-still. So you'll get this type of jams once in awhile but not normally.

For driving from Fram to Bos in the morning - If you get on the Pike (I90) by 7 am, the drive will be 50 min or so. Traffic definitely gets way worse after 7 am. Between 7:30 to 8:30 is brutal. If you can leave before 7 am, I think the drive is much lighter and you can shave off 5 to 10 min. There will be days when traffic is smooth as butter and then randomly days where you hit stops on the highway for no good reason. Haven't figured that out myself. I ususally get on at Exit 13.

For driving in the pm (Bos to Fram), traffic seems to be much worse and there isn't really a light-traffic time of day (except maybe before 4:30 pm). I've recently started using local roads (Storrow drive thru Watertown & Waltham) and make stops to do grocery shopping etc rather than sit on the Pike in traffic.
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