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Old 03-14-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Southern California
20 posts, read 93,529 times
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I'm looking at moving to Boston from California. The job is in the downtown area, right by the backbay train station. How is the commuter rail system, and how reasonable is it to use for a daily commute to the outer suburbs? (Natick, Mansfield, or others?). I would be looking for a 4 bedroom house for up to $600k. I have kids so school systems are important. I would appreciate hearing about commutable suburbs.

Thanks.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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I used to take the train into Back Bay from Southboro. I've found the service pretty good although 2-3 times it was very late. The Worcester/Framingham line goes right into Back Bay without having to change trains. I found it so much less stressful than driving. Best of luck with your move! ps. Where in CA are you moving from, if you don't mind my asking?
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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I'm from Thousand Oaks, near LA.

Are you saying The Worcester line is better than the Providence line, or does it make a difference (other then distance)?
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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It doesn't make a difference really, the Worcester line is just the one you'd take from Natick and that's the one they took. My stepmother reverse commutes to Providence on the Providence line and she's never had a problem.
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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You can view a map of the complete commuter-rail system by linking from mbta.com. Every train to and from destinations to the west and southwest of the city stops at Back Bay. Newton and Wellesley probably have the best public schools of the inner suburbs in that direction, but they're followed closely by the systems of Norwood, Needham, and Dedham. (In fact, once you're out of the urban core pretty much any community's schools are no worse than decent.)

Back Bay Station is also served by the MBTA's Orange Line, which connects to the commuter-rail lines leading to the northern and northwestern suburbs and the North Shore. Inner-ring towns in that direction from town with "better" schools include Wakefield, Swampscott, Belmont, and Melrose. Despite the train transfer involved your daily ride to work would take less than an hour.

Copley Station lies a block north of Back Bay Station. It's served by all four branches of the Green Line, Boston's light-rail service. The "D" trolley runs along its own right-of-way beyond Kenmore Square, making stops in southern Brookline and across Newton; the "C" line travels through the heart of Brookline along the median of Beacon St; and the "B" cars skirt northern Brookline en route to Boston College on Commonwealth Ave. Add Brookline to your short list of "commutable" close-in suburbs, as its schools are top-notch and the selection of housing is good although single-family homes tend to be on the expensive side.

Since every town in the region has its own particular "flavor," we can help you narrow down your selections if we know more about what you're looking for. Throw out just about any question that occurs to you: nearness of golf courses, number of Hindu temples in the area, quality and quantity of grocery stores, you name it and somebody's bound to have the answer.
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:31 PM
 
278 posts, read 1,027,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ View Post
I'm looking at moving to Boston from California. The job is in the downtown area, right by the backbay train station. How is the commuter rail system, and how reasonable is it to use for a daily commute to the outer suburbs? (Natick, Mansfield, or others?). I would be looking for a 4 bedroom house for up to $600k. I have kids so school systems are important. I would appreciate hearing about commutable suburbs.

Thanks.
Greetings and welcome!
My family lives in Franklin and my husband takes the T into Back Bay daily. This leaves him with 2 choices; he can leave from one of two stations here in Franklin or drive to Mansfield and leave from there. The downside of leaving from Franklin is that it's a 1 hr. trip...stopping at every little town along the route...but it's convenient and he can do some computer work on the train. Mansfield can get you to backbay in half an hour, which is great (but you have to drive there). Overall, the trains have been very reliable in the past year...only a few (maybe 5 or 6) significant delays. You can get a nice 4 bdrm. home in Franklin for $600K. Several of the elementary/jr. high schools are great...the high school...less great. Having said that, however, there are some great kids, teachers, and opportunities at FHS...it all depends upon the kids and their family support system. Don't just look at test scores...the job is ultimately ours to fulfill. Best of luck if you decide to move this way! lorilou
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:21 AM
 
257 posts, read 1,291,490 times
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Mansfield has a nice little downtown if that's your thing, and as lorilou said, it's a short ride to Boston. The only downside is during the AM Peak the train is usually full starting at Mansfield, so you may or may not get a seat depending on how quickly you fight your way to the door.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Southern California
20 posts, read 93,529 times
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Default A little more info

Thanks, your feedback has all been very helpful.

A couple more things to throw out - my wife and daughter are into horses and we would be looking for a stable to board horses hearby. Also, my sons run track and we are hoping to find a high school with a good program. Any thoughts on good suburbs for those activities?

Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:17 PM
 
3,031 posts, read 8,804,515 times
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Also, you don't have to live in the town wtih the commuter rail. For instance, Needham has 3 rail stations but is more congested than Dover which is one town away and some parts are no more than 5 minutes from the train.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,865 posts, read 13,036,295 times
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The miaa.org site (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association) should have all the stats from the state tournaments posted. I plead ignorance as far as who the "superpower" teams are, beyond those of Cambridge. Unless your guys are aspiring NCAA champs or Olympians, that really shouldn't matter anyway. Did you know that we have indoor track programs here, too?

Boston's "horsy" suburbs tend to be west and north of town: Weston, Andover, Topsfield, Sherborn, Hamilton, Dover, and Boxford come to mind. As is typically the case, each of these communities are among the wealthiest in the state, with houses priced accordingly.
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