A little help with the Boston "T", please?

I’m making a trip up to Boston in about a month, and I’ve got a plan that involves use of the transit system, which I haven’t used in almost thirty years and found confusing then.

Essentially, I’m arriving in Chinatown on Saturday morning, and taking my daughter (who’s a student at Wellesley) to a game at Fenway Park that evening.

I would like to get from Chinatown to a hotel near Wellesley when I get in, check in, dump my stuff, take daughter to Kenmore Square, see game, and get us both out to Wellesley (me to hotel, her to dorm) after the game.

As I remember, the T after a game is wicked crowded, and it involves (if memory serves) taking a trolley, rather than an underground car, westerly. But if some Boston resident could set me straight on exactly what train I want, and other details, I’ll be much obliged.

It’s been awhile for me, too, but I went to school near Kenmore and commuted by T the first year from Natick, which is next to Wellesley so was familiar with the route.

To get out towards Wellesley, you need the Green Line (D) to Riverside. The Riverside station is in Newton (next to Wellesley). Depending on where you’re staying, there are buses from Riverside that go into Wellesley.

The T Map shows Chinatown on the Orange line and it looks like you’d take it inbound one stop and then get on the Red Line to Park Street. Then you can pick up the Green line from there. The Green Line to Riverside stops at both Kenmore and Fenway to get to the Ball Park.

I’m sure someone with more recent experience will be along to laugh at my outdated knowledge and tell us that there are now MBTA hovercrafts that take you directly to downtown Wellesley. Damn kids these days. :smiley:

What Salem said is correct. It’s fortunate that you’ll be on the D line outbound from the stadium, because it will probably be slightly less packed than an inbound train or, say, the B line. Most people use the Kenmore Station stop to get to and from Fenway; all trains stop there (except the E line) and it’s the closest the B and C lines get to the stadium. As long as you’re on the D line, though, I recommend using the Fenway stop because only the D line stops there, so it’s inevitably less crowded. Caveat: it isn’t actually any closer to Fenway stadium than Kenmore Station, and it’s kind of tucked away. The MBTA’s website is actually very good for planning trips on the T, especially if you’re from out of town.

Thanks–a followup on the Chinatown end. I’m sure i won’t mind a short stroll (esp. if it saves me an Orange-Red-Green change). What’s the closest Green line stop to Chinatown? And will all Green line trains take me out to Riverside (or wherever’s closest to Wellesley)?

The Bolyston green line T stop is essentially in Chinatown. Only the D goes to Riverside.

Slight Warning, the Kenmore station is in the middle of it’s 327 year rebuilding process, and the construction changes daily.

Tokens are gone, now you need to buy a Charlie card.

ONLY the D trains go to Riverside, B, C and E will take you to places you don’t want to go.

There is a underground walkway at Park St that connects to Downtown Crossing (formaly Washington St) that goes between the Orange and Green lines.

If you’re trying to get to Wellesley College, the Green Line D is going to leave you a couple miles short. Check here for the commuter rail page. The Wellesley Square station is within walking distance of the college, and Yawkey is right by Fenway Park. Not every train stops at Yawkey, so check the timetable page.

Tricky itinerary, though. You want to go from Chinatown to Wellesley, just to check in and drop your stuff? If you go the commuter rail option, those trains don’t run very often in the middle of the day. South Station is right by Chinatown; you might do better to see if there’s a place there where you can check your bags, and only trek out to the 'burbs after the game is over. (Of course, that way you have to make your way back to South Station after the game. Hmm, can you pay a taxi a one-way fare to haul your stuff to the hotel?)

And we still haven’t figured out if there’s a hotel near Wellesley Square or Riverside.

Well, hop to it, man!

No, seriously, I’ll look into that. And I’ll report on what I find.

There used to be shuttle buses between Woodland Station (next to last stop before Riverside) and the college. There also used to be shuttles from Harvard Square and a couple of stops at MIT and the college. I’ll spare you the vulgar nickname given to these shuttle buses.

Wellesley alumna checking in here.

I agree with **Robot Arm ** that the commuter rail is much more convenient to Wellesley College than the D line. If you head out to Riverside you’ll have to take a taxi to get to the college. (I found this out the hard way.)

If you time things right you might be able to take the commuter rail from Wellesley directly to Fenway by getting off at Yawkey.

However, if you’re trying to travel back and forth entirely on public transit, I would highly recommend that you get a hotel room in Boston or Cambridge. As Robot Arm mentioned, going back and forth between Chinatown and Wellesley, especially with an armful of stuff, on transit is going to be tricky. And I say this as someone who uses public transit extensively.

If I recall correctly, there are a couple of motels in Wellesley and Natick along Route 9, plus the Sheraton in Framingham, but none of them are anywhere within walking distance of the college. You’ll definitely need a car for those. I think there’s at least one hotel in Newton, but again you’ll want a car to drive to Wellesley from most of Newton. I don’t think there are any hotels you can walk to from the college, unless things have changed dramatically in the last 8 years and someone built a new boutique inn or something.

Is your daughter currently a Wellesley student? It might be easier for everyone involved if you stay in Boston and ask your daughter to come to Boston for the game. She can take a bus shuttle (in my time it was called the “Senate Bus”; dunno if they’ve changed the name since then) or the commuter rail. The Senate Bus makes two stops in Cambridge and one in Boston. It runs fairly late into the night–on Saturdays I think it stopped running around 2 or 3 am, depending on whether it leaves from the college or from Cambridge.

If you want to head back to Wellesley with her, you two can take the Senate Bus together. It might weird you out to be the only non-college aged adult besides the driver on a bus jam-packed with college kids, and it’ll probably be a really noisy ride, but it’s by far the most convenient way to get to the college from Boston aside from driving your own car. The commuter rail is quieter and more comfortable, but runs less frequently than the Senate Bus.

In my experience most of my classmates were only dimly aware of the commuter rail, or didn’t even know it existed. Many were the times I swore off the Senate Bus after yet another sardine can-like ride, but dammit, it took less effort to get to the Senate Bus stop than the commuter rail station, and laziness always won out in the end.

A decade ago cab fare from Boston to the college was around $50. Not sure what it would be now.

There used to be a small hotel in Newton right next to the Riverside T station, but the last time I was at Riverside (maybe a month or so ago) it looked like it had come under new management and was still under construction. I don’t know if it’s even a hotel anymore.

Anyway, if you have any more questions, feel free to PM me.

not much to add, good info here. But don’t assume that the trains are the most efficient or easiest way to get around town. I used the buses much more frequently than the trains… trains have to stop at every stop (though I think trolleys can continue if no-one wants to get off and no-one needs to be picked up). There’s a MBTA trip wizard at their website that’s helpful to use as well.

I’m heading out to Boston in a month.

  1. I want to get the unlimited 7-day Charlie Card. Can I get this at any subway station (Aquarium on the Blue Line in particular)?

  2. The website says the card can be used on the commuter rail. Is there a conductor on every car if I need to stop at a non-regular stop. For “something different”, I want to take the commuter rail from South Station to my hotel near JFK/UMASS. The site I have to alert the conductor to stop there.

  3. Finally, I’m heading down to the Cape (Martha’s Vineyard in particular). From Logan after I-93, should I take Route 3 (to Sagamore Bridge) or Rte 24/I-495 (to Bourne Bridge)? I have a ferry to catch and want to the quickest route.

You can buy 7-day passes most anywhere.

Where are you picking up the ferry? There’s more then one place now. If going to Woods Hole either will do. With the new flyover at the Sagamore, that’s what I’d use.

Woods Hole it is; the car ferry.

I was trying to figure out the quickest of two ways from Logan to the Cape Cod Canal. Once I get to the bridges, it’s pretty much one road to Woods Hole. I’m giving myself 3 hours from Logan, but the sooner the better.

Three hours is more than enough time to get to the ferry from Logan. Are you taking your car over? If not, be aware that you don’t park at Wood’s Hole–instead, you’ll park in a satellite lot and take a shuttle bus to the ferry. Once you’re on the Cape, look for signs to Steamship Authority parking–there should be a big sign somewhere on rt. 28(?) telling you which exit to take and then you’ll have to look for little sandwich board signs in the weeds on the side of the road.

I will be taking the car on the Vineyard, where I’m staying at my Grandma’s old house near Menemsha. The guides say to be there at least 45 minutes ahead of time. I’m going in late Sept, so I don’t think I’ll have to negotiate the summer crowd.

If you are there on a Friday, and you like lobster, you must, must, must get a lobster roll at Grace Episcopal Church. They sell them from 4:30 to 7:30 and are absolutely the most delicious thing you will eat on the Vineyard.

Sorry for the tangent, pseudotriton…

Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha is a family business. My grandmother was part owner and my uncle and aunt run the place. Most of my relatives are fishermen based there.

No, we won’t want for seafood. Then again, that doesn’t mean I’ll know how to cook any of it. Grandma always cooked before she recently passed away.

Sorry, too, about the tangent. As the trip approaches, I’ll probably start my own thread about recommendations in Boston.

Why do you want to take the commuter rail there? The Red Line always stops at JFK/UMass and runs way more frequently.

Chinatown? Are you taking the “Chinatown bus” into Boston? The “Chinatown buses” drop off inside the South Station bus terminal now.

If you are indeed taking the bus into South Station, the commuter rail would definitely be the most convenient way to get to Wellesley–it’s right there. But I still think you should find a hotel room in Boston/Cambridge. That way you’d get to your hotel and be rid of your luggage that much sooner. Then you can head out to Wellesley when you’re ready, if you want.

It takes a minimum of half an hour to travel from Boston to Wellesley College by car. The train ride takes around half an hour, but then you have to add in walking time to/from the Wellesley Square station.

Frankly, there isn’t much to do in the town of Wellesley. This is why there’s a mass exodus from campus starting every Friday evening.

Unless you want to see the college campus or hang out with your daughter and her friends, you’ll probably have more fun in Boston before the game.

It occurs to me that if your daughter comes into Boston to watch the game with you, it might be easier for her to return to Wellesley using the Senate Bus afterwards. The Senate Bus stop on Beacon Street is not far from Kenmore Square–about a ten-minute walk more or less, and you two wouldn’t have to deal with Green Line crowding to get there.