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Boston Bike Share, MBTA and getting around questions

Old 03-27-17, 02:43 PM
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mgw4jc
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Boston Bike Share, MBTA and getting around questions

Question for anyone with getting around Boston knowledge...

I will be in the area for the Boston Marathon in three weeks. I would prefer to not rent a car. I am likely staying out a little bit, but right near the Dedham Corporate Station (walking distance to that rail stop). I will need to get back and forth from Back Bay / Boston Commons area a couple of times. I should be able to use the MBTA Commuter Rail for that. I'm assuming it is reliable enough and it looks like the schedule runs at times that will work okay for me.

Sunday afternoon I may need to get around the downtown area a bit. For example, from the Marathon Expo near Copley Square to Little Italy / North End and then back again to the Back Bay station. This looks to be only a couple of miles, but I want to minimize my walking seeing as how the next day is the marathon. So would the Hubway share be a good option here? Is the bike availability decent and routes okay around there? I'm okay riding in traffic and such.

Any other tips on getting around while I'm there are much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-27-17, 04:36 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
Question for anyone with getting around Boston knowledge...

I will be in the area for the Boston Marathon in three weeks. I would prefer to not rent a car. I am likely staying out a little bit, but right near the Dedham Corporate Station (walking distance to that rail stop). I will need to get back and forth from Back Bay / Boston Commons area a couple of times. I should be able to use the MBTA Commuter Rail for that. I'm assuming it is reliable enough and it looks like the schedule runs at times that will work okay for me.

Sunday afternoon I may need to get around the downtown area a bit. For example, from the Marathon Expo near Copley Square to Little Italy / North End and then back again to the Back Bay station. This looks to be only a couple of miles, but I want to minimize my walking seeing as how the next day is the Marathon. So would the Hubway share be a good option here? Is the bike availability decent and routes okay around there? I'm okay riding in traffic and such.

Any other tips on getting around while I'm there are much appreciated. Thanks!
I live in Kenmore Square, about half a mile from the Hynes Auditorium where the Marathon Expo is usually held. It's an easy subway ride from there to the North End (not Little Italy...that's in New York).
Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
I think it's the Nahth Eind, I swear we just can't take you anywhere!
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
At least she didn't call it "Lilittly"(Little Italy).
The Marathon weekend is a very exciting time in the Back Bay where the Hynes Auditorium and the finish line are.


I regularly use the Franklin Commuter Rail, which serves the Dedham Corporate Center stop. The schedule is pretty convenient, and it's only about 20 minutes to the Back Bay Train Station.

The Hubway Bike Share is easy to use and stations are plentiful in the downtown, including Back Bay and the North End. The website also shows bike availability and open docking stations. And in general Boston is a very walkable city with many attractions within a relatively small area.

Are you running in the Marathon, or planning to do any biking? My convenient Bike Shop also rents bikes of good quality; the Hubway bikes are heavy duty ones. FYA, I have posted a Cyclists Guide to Metro Boston about the cycling scene here including Bike Paths, and bringing bikes on public transportation.

I personally enjoy showing visitors around Boston, and I have offered some open-ended invitations on a few Forums to look me up if visiting Boston, for advice or to meet up. I do usually need a couple days notice to alter my schedule. That weekend is Easter weekend, but I may be able to work around family plans if interested...


PS: Another resource on the Forums would be this thread on the Regional Discussion Forums, Metro Boston: Good ride today? with a lot of knowledgeable local subscribers.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-27-17 at 08:15 PM. Reason: added PS
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Old 03-28-17, 06:21 AM
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@jim_From_Boston - thanks for the great info. I don't know the area at all (never been there). I am meeting some friends for dinner Sunday night and they called it Little Italy (haven't picked a specific restaurant yet). I did not know where that was, but when I went to Google maps and searched on "Little Italy, Boston, MA," the North End is what the map highlights. Granted I couldn't find the words "Little Italy" on there, but I'm assuming that is the area my friends mean.

Good to hear about the subway / trains. Very cool that you are willing to do some site seeing rides. Unfortunately I'm pretty much in and out and yes, I'm running the marathon on Monday. I fly in Sunday morning and will hit the expo first. Then I may either go to the hotel for a bit before coming back into town for dinner or just hang out somewhere. Then back to Dedham hotel for sleep.

Early Monday morning I need to get back to Boston Commons for the shuttle buses to Hopkinton. After the race I'll probably be hanging out while waiting for friends to come in and such.

I'm then leaving early Tuesday morning (most likely just riding back with a friend who is driving there).
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Old 03-28-17, 08:27 AM
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Yeah, I'd avoid driving a car here, ESPECIALLY during marathon weekend with all the road closures and polices and other spectators and participants... parking will not be easy or cheap either. MBTA will be packed but usable. You could always fall back on Lyft/Uber.
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Old 03-28-17, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I usually visit the Marathon expo on Sunday around noon or so, if you wouldlike to exchange numbers and say Hi, but the event is packed, and I know youare on a tight schedule.
The spectator party would be a lot of fun I bet.

I get into Logan at 10am, so I have to first get from there to the Expo, then find some lunch, or possibly vice versa if I'm already starving (my morning will start at about 5am that day). I need to see what other plans there are from various friends going before I can commit to anything just yet.

I think the 6:05 departure getting into Back Bay a little before 6:30 will work for me. The gear bag check is between Back Bay and the Commons, so I'll have to stop there first and then on to the buses.

I also have a friend or two with cars and family there. They are staying even further out in Stoughton. If needed, I'm sure they could pick me up and get me to the buses. But I kind of like using the public transit and/or bike share in big cities. I feel more independent and like I'm getting a bit more local flavor that way.
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Old 03-28-17, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
]@jim_From_Boston - thanks for the great info. Idon't know the area at all (never been there)…

Good to hear about the subway / trains. Very cool that you are willing to dosome site seeing rides. Unfortunately I'm pretty much in and out and yes, I'm running the marathon on Monday. I fly in Sunday morning and will hit the expo first. Then I may either go to the hotel for a bit before coming back into town for dinner or just hang out somewhere. Then back to Dedham hotel for sleep.

Early Monday morning I need to get back to Boston Commons for the shuttle buses to Hopkinton. After the race I'll probably be hanging out while waiting for friends to come in and such.

I'm then leaving early Tuesday morning (most likely just riding back with afriend who is driving there).
Thanks for the reply, and best wishes for the Marathon. We live in Kenmore Square, on the Route, about a mile from the Finish Line. The Marathon is held on Patriot’s Day, a local holiday to celebrate the Battles of Lexington and Concord. I used to have the day off from work, and we would hold a spectator’s party. Kenmore Square is incredibly active on that day.Traditionally, an early baseball game is held at nearby Fenway Park, scheduled to end about the time the first runners come through.

I usually visit the Marathon expo on Sunday around noon or so, if you would like to exchange numbers and say Hi, but the event is packed, and I know you are on a tight schedule.

I don’t know what time you have to meet the shuttle bus to Hopkinton, but be aware that according to the published schedule of the Franklin Line, the first inbound train from Dedham is at 5:32 AM, but goes directly to South Station (not the Back Bay Station). South Station is about a 15 minute walk from Boston Common, or two subway stops. The next train, directly to Back Bay, then South Station is 6:05 AM, scheduled to arrive around 6:30 at South Station.

If you run into a real time crunch, perhaps I could help out with a lift (by car) since Dedham is near my workplace. On a personal note, since you live near Charlotte, NC, I had the pleasure of meeting @jppe from Charlotte and riding with him on the final day of his cross-country ride from Oregon to Boston.

Finally, the Marathon Route is basically a straight shot of 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston, with two turns very near the finished line with the time-honored directions “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston." (as seen from Hynes Auditorium; Boylston is in the foreground, Hereford is perpendicular. The Route is on Commonwealth Ave, "Comm Ave," coming from the left two blocks in the distance.).
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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-28-17 at 10:11 AM.
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