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Thread: Advice Needed from Bostonians

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Advice Needed from Bostonians

    specifically about transportation...

    I am taking DS to visit Brandeis and Boston College the last week of June. We'll probably be flying and it looks like both schools are in the same general vicinity- as in they list common hotels nearby. From previous visits to Boston, I know the T system is pretty accessible most places.

    Will it be possible to get from Logan to a hotel in Waltham and to and from both schools without renting a car? So far I've looked at two hotels in Waltham and neither said they offered an airport shuttle.

    Any thoughts/advice? I'd also appreciate an insider's perspective of the area, community, etc. since he's considering living there for four years!
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  2. #2
    Brandeis is fairly close to a commuter rail stop on the Fitchburg line. It is about a twenty minute (???) ride from Boston. You can catch the commuter rail from North Station which is T accessible from Logan. (Check out www.mbta.com). I don't know if there are any hotels that are close to the commuter rail stop-but I bet that the Brandeis admissions office would probably know.

  3. #3
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    Brandeis is a tough commute into the city without a car if DS thinks he would spend time going out in Boston and not at all conducive to staying out late and then trying to get back to the school.

    Boston College is at the end of the "B" line of the Green Line on the T and is much easier to get in, out and around the city.

    I think a trip from Logan to Waltham without a car would be a real pain in the butt and take forever. You'd have to take the Blue Line on the T to North Station, which is on both the Green and Orange lines (which means you'd have to travel to the State stop on the Orange line and change directions) then take a commuter rail train (if there are even any stops near Waltham, never mind near your particular hotel). Then getting from your hotel to Brandeis might necessitate a bus or two (rigel is right, speak to Brandeis about the best way to get around) and from Waltham to Boston College is just about impossible without a car.

    Think of the spokes of a wheel. Our transportation lines run like the spokes out from the center of Boston. BC and Brandeis would be on different spokes and no way to get from one to the other without going quite a bit of the way back into Boston and then back out.

    Will DS have a car at college? If so, it wouldn't matter which school he chose in terms of getting around, but for your exploratory weekend, I'd rent a car.

    Loren
    The term "working mother" is redundant.

  4. #4
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    Gracie got it all right. I agree, you need to rent a car because of Brandeis location.
    Sarah

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    I agree with Gracie too.

    If you need anything PM me, I'm 5 mins from BC and 15 from Brandeis. My son has friends that are attending (freshman) these schools.
    Leslie

  6. #6
    I agree about the car.

    This might help explain things. The "T" is trains that run every ten or so minutes. The commuter rail (which is what Brandeis is on), runs about once or twice an hour during rush hour, and maybe every hour or so not during rush hour. So, although they are both part of the MBTA system, there is a big difference between the "T" and the commuter rail.

  7. #7
    Great suggestions. Here's another option, but it depends if there is any flexibility on where you are staying and I don't know how long you will be here (are you planning to see Boston College and Brandeis in the same day?).

    Some find driving from Logan Airport a hassle (dealing with traffic, figuring out your way around a new area etc), and then you add on the cost of renting a car/having to deal with getting the car/returning it etc, and navigating your way to the two schools. I am completely guessing, but I would think renting a car would be $50 ish -- but no clue.

    Perhaps stay in a hotel in Boston, or perhaps in the town of Brookline (very close to Boston College, and neighbors part of Boston). The cost of hotels range widely -- but sometimes I have found special deals that have surprised me. I have found that the cost of the room doesn't always go in line with the hotel chain. I have stayed in Marriott's cheaper than Holiday Inn's -- ok, not always. But I have saved money regardless of chain, by doing some seaching/digging.

    Of course, the cost of the hotels range widely -- the day of the week, time of the year impacts the hotel room rates, so some research is needed). However, you might think this is a completely moot point if the hotel rates are mind blowing in Boston/Brookline (which I have definitely seen for Boston when looking for rooms for friends, and then I often suggest that they stay outside of the city). But if this idea sounds interesting, I would suggest some hotel digging and see what you are working with. I don't know how the different rates compare --but let's ignore that for a bit.

    Also, if you stay in Boston (defintely wouldn't rent a car) or Brookline, there is the savings of the car rental. You can easily hop the T to get from the airport to the hotel/area that I am thinking. And, then you can walk around and get a feel for things at night etc. Whereas in my opinion, I would think you would likely have to hop in your car at night to grab dinner (unless you eat in the hotel) if you stay in Waltham. It's the burbs. But I could be wrong since don't know where you are staying.

    There are a few hotels/b&b's in the town of Brookline, the places that I am thinking of (in the Coolidge Corner area, a few blocks from Trader Joes!) are a long, long walk to BC (if you want to get your morning walk in) or real easy on the T or probably a taxi of $10 ish (just getting in a taxi seems to cost $4). The Coolidge Corner area is a nice neighborhood, with restuarants, shops etc and a short T ride to Boston (if you have time to check out other things). You can then go into the city by T and catch the commuter rail to Brandeis (I think there is a "Brandeis" stop). I will say it is not so direct to get to Waltham from Brookline since you have to go into the city to catch the commuter rail, and then take it back out (a different area than Brookline etc). But certainly can do it and many commuters do it.

    If you are going to BC/Brandeis in one day -- then this idea would be tougher since you need to take the timing of the commuter rail into effect, and then I would nix this suggestion.

    If you need anything, just ask. Have a great visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    All of your advice helps a lot. We are going to dedicate one day to each school so we can get a good feel for the environment.

    If I take applecrisp's suggestion and stay near BC, would it be feasible to take a taxi from that area to Brandeis? I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble to rent a car for two days. (then again, it might be my only chance to drive something fun )

    Maybe I'll call a couple of the hotels that the schools suggested and see what they say.

    I'm not too worried about transportation if he ends up at Brandeis. An admissions rep told us that they run shuttles into the city. We'll check more into their system when we're there.

    Let me know if you have any more thoughts.

    Thanks!

    Vivian
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  9. #9
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    Sep 2002
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    I think the taxi would end up costing the same amount as a car rental. Since I live in Brookline, I'll say that one option could be to rent from Enterprise (probably in Boston, but with an address on Commonwealth Avenue) for your trip to Brandeis and then using the T on the other day. I think Enterprise will drop off at your hotel if you'd like. Feel free to PM me for more info if you'd like.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicMom
    If I take applecrisp's suggestion and stay near BC, would it be feasible to take a taxi from that area to Brandeis? I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth the trouble to rent a car for two days. (then again, it might be my only chance to drive something fun )
    I would think taking a taxi from Chestnut Hill (BC) to Waltham (Brandeis) would be quite expensive. Personally, I think it would be worthwhile to rent the car for a couple of days. Staying in the Brookline area might be a good idea as you'd be close to BC and the city and it wouldn't be difficult to jump on Rte 9 and then connect with Rte 128 to get to Brandeis/Waltham. Have fun on your trip and, as an alum, I'm rooting for BC!
    Linda

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

    Erma Bombeck

  11. #11
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    Gawd, I make this commute ALL too often, sometimes a couple of times a day My office is down the road from Brandeis and several of my residential programs are down the road from BC in Brighton and Brookline locations.
    Rent a car.....really, it will be much easier, save you money over cabs, save time over using the T or commuter rail, and give you the opportunity to check out some off campus locations in Waltham/Brighton/Brookline as well, since DS will be spending time in the areas. Even though the drive is only 20 minutes or so, the 2 areas are WORLDS apart!
    Let us know when you're here. Moody St. in Waltham has some great ethnic food and, well, the best burrito for 3.45 can be found in 2 locations in Brookline
    BTW, Waltham is BIG, and the hotels I bet they recommended are not really near the schools- North of Brandeis and therefore, further from Brighton/Brookline. There are more centrally located hotels for both school in Newton- one right off 128. Also there is a new Marriott Courtyard in Brookline.
    http://www.savedarfur.org/content
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    Ellyn

  12. #12
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    Thanks, everyone. I think I will go ahead and get a car, since it will give us more flexibility. Brookline looks like a good area to make our home base- so I'll search for hotels there.

    We're looking at the last week of June-probably mid-week, Wednesday and Thursday. Our plan is to drive from VA to Pennsylvania to see Franklin and Marshall and UPenn, then fly from Philadelphia to Boston to save time. There isn't anything DS wants to see in between those two cities.

    I'll probably be in touch when the time gets closer.

    - Vivian
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by melis_d
    I think the taxi would end up costing the same amount as a car rental. Since I live in Brookline, I'll say that one option could be to rent from Enterprise (probably in Boston, but with an address on Commonwealth Avenue) for your trip to Brandeis and then using the T on the other day. I think Enterprise will drop off at your hotel if you'd like. Feel free to PM me for more info if you'd like.
    Hoorah for Brookline! I'm a social work intern at the senior center there.
    "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, unless one has dined well." - Virginia Woolf
    http://whatsinlaurenstummy.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Hi MusicMom. We'll be taking my DD to Brandeis the 3rd week of June (the week before you go). My dad went there and he would love for her to go there, too. She's not too keen on cold weather, though! She was up in Boston in February visiting a cousin at Harvard and looked at Harvard and Boston University. We'll probably also take her to Tufts while we are there. Boston would be an awesome place to go to college (if it weren't for that weather-thing!)

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