Rental car in Boston?

I’ll be staying about 10 miles from downtown Boston for about a week, half for fun and half for business. I’ve heard that traffic in and around Boston is insane… is it worth getting a rental car, or is that going to turn out to be a major headache?

How’s the public transportation? Anything particularly noteworthy I should see or do while I’m there?

Thanks! :cool:

Where are you staying and how familiar are you with the city?

The commuter rail line covers a lot of territory in and around Boston. Once in Boston the T will take you just about anywhere.

Renting a car in Boston is easy. Finding your way around, driving and parking in Boston are another thing entirely.

Also, when are you going? Boston is lovely in the Fall on foot.

thanks for the reply! i’m gonna be there 10/3 - 10/8, and this will be my first time in the area.

i have no problem with lots of walking, but i’m not sure about getting into Boston proper, since both hotels appear to be a fair distance from the city (my personal hotel is in Burlington, then i transfer to the work hotel near the airport)

Call your hotel and ask about access to the commuter rail. I’m pretty sure you can get it in Burlington, but I don’t know exactly where.

If you do get a car, don’t drive it into Boston proper. Park in one of the lots at the end of the T lines (probably Alewife, coming from Burlington, or possibly somewhere on the orange line) and take the T in. You do not want to try to drive with the locals (and they don’t want you, either).

The airport is on the blue line.

Here’s the web site for the extensive public transit system. It’s one of the best in the nation.

I agree with everyone else, unless you are a very intrepid driver and/or are already familiar with the city I would avoid driving into the city.

It looks like the nearest commuter rail station to Burlington is in Woburn, the next town over. This may or may not work out for you depending on where in Burlington you are staying.

On the MBTA web site they have a trip planner tool:
When I put Burlington MA as a starting point and downtown Boston as an ending point they have you taking a bus from Burlington to the Alewife T station at the northwest end of the Red Line subway line, then taking the subway into town.

That is certainly one way to do it, Alewife also is one of the stations with a huge parking lot although it fills up early in the day during the work week.

Your hotel might also be able to give you a rundown of available options…they might have a shuttle to one of the public transit stations, for instance.

Yeah, what he said. I’d probably get a car for the time I’m in Burlington and get to the City by driving to a T (subway) stop – the subways come often enough that you don’t need to worry about the schedule (as opposed to commuter rail trains). Only issue is that the last outbound subway is usually around 12:30 AM, so this won’t work for a long night of partying (but then again, most bars close at 1AM anyway). If you’re going in the evening, parking shouldn’t be a problem. This would also allow you to do some non-city New England thing if you wanted (for instance, apple picking). Traffic is bad at rush hour (particularly I-95/rt 128 and I-93 near the city), but no problem at other times.

If the airport hotel is close to the airport shuttle bus (which goes to the T station), then ditch the car when you get there, and just subway downtown.

Admittedly, I stayed in the city center & never ventured to the 'burbs when I went this summer, but there were T stops everywhere & I found it easy to navigate. A pleasure, really. We didn’t miss having our car.