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Commuter rail

Testy Turkey Day travel - by plane, train, or automobile

Posted by Nichole Davis November 26, 2013 03:27 PM

It's been long-standing knowledge that one of the worst traffic days of the year is the day before Thanksgiving. Everyone and their mother, dog, and best friend all hit the roads at the same time and clog things up to immense levels. In fact, according to AAA, there are going to be 43.4 million people on the highways nationwide this year -- so you can imagine that a significant portion of those are going to be messing things up here in New England.

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"Roads and Rails" is back from summer vacation - and so are the students

Posted by Nichole Davis August 28, 2013 06:15 PM

photo (10).JPG

In the words of a very popular camel, "Uh-oh. Guess what day it is?!"
(Technically, yes, it is "hump day", but that's not what I'm going for here.)

Yes, it's that time of year again - some call it "Allston Christmas", some call it the "student exodus" ... whatever your name for it, the next week or so is going to bring a flood of new arrivals to the city. If you're one of them and have come to this blog for commuting advice, welcome and thanks for stopping by! If there's one thing you need to keep in mind, please remember this:

Do not, under any circumstances (unless being chased by raptors, and even then), bring your moving truck on the river roads. And, if you do, follow the signs! There's an example in the photo above. If you see one of these, DO NOT KEEP GOING. Otherwise, you will likely end up like one of these unfortunate souls and that's just not fun for anyone involved. (Check out the gallery - I think the Weinermobile could have made it without help.)

For more tips, here's the gallery I put together for last year's move-in that provides a general overview of the ins and outs of getting around the city. If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them!

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A guide to getting around for a fantastic Fourth

Posted by Nichole Davis July 3, 2013 02:00 PM

Ah, welcome to one of the busiest travel days of the year - the day before July 4th.

Many would think, "Why is the day before the holiday busiest?" Lots of people are taking off and they want to beat the traffic - but, of course, they're going to be the traffic themselves, as everyone is going at the same time. There won't be as many people this year, however. The International Business Times reports that, according to AAA, only 40.8 million people will be hopping in their cars and heading out of town (to a destination at least 50 miles away). Now, you might wonder, why is that an "only"? That number's down at least one percent from this past year for a variety of reasons - money and time, namely.

Either way, it's going to feel like all 40 million are on the road with you at once for the next few days at times. Expect gridlock through this afternoon on all of your major highways heading out of the city to the usual vacation spots.

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Mother nature thwarts construction again, and good news for Fairmount line riders

Posted by Nichole Davis June 28, 2013 02:33 PM

There's been word all week about the DOT closing down two popular ramps to the O'Neill Tunnel and Zakim Bridge northbound for work over the weekend. However, the wet weather has foiled the plans, and it looks like that won't be happening.

Michael Verseckes of the DOT says the work was going to be taking place on the ramps from Haymarket Square and the Sumner Tunnel. They were set to be closed at 8:00 PM tonight and 10:00 PM tomorrow night. There's been no word as to when the work will be rescheduled for, but of course, when I find out, I'll pass it on.

Keep in mind, though - there's more in the way of closures coming up in the next few days...

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Parking problems on the Fitchburg Line, and another 93 closure

Posted by Nichole Davis June 17, 2013 12:15 AM

Commuters in Leominster are about to be a little more inconvenienced.

If you've been utilizing the shuttle service provided by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority that runs from the Mall at Whitney Field to the North Leominster Intermodal Transportation Center, we're now learning that's not going to be an option come July 1st. What's going on?

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The Cape escape kickoff, and a furtherance of the Fitchburg line

Posted by Nichole Davis May 26, 2013 10:26 AM

While those who care more about the weather for Memorial Day weekend wrung their hands and were worried about busted forecasts, we on the traffic side of things were sure of one thing: traffic was going to be a mess. And it was.

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Less waiting on the Worcester line, and a crack down on buckling up

Posted by Nichole Davis April 29, 2013 07:44 PM

If you happened to get on the commuter rail in Worcester this morning - namely, the 6:20 am train - you might have noticed you got to Boston a lot faster than you normally do ... and with just one other stop.

Today was the first run of express service between Worcester and Boston for both the morning and afternoon commutes. It's somewhat limited at this point, but transportation officials say they're hopeful it can expand in the future to help passengers travel more quickly between the state's largest cities - which could be beneficial on many levels.

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MassDOT strikes back, and your weekly construction

Posted by Nichole Davis March 25, 2013 06:29 PM

The Green Line extension project into Somerville and Medford from Cambridge is one of the top priorities for the MBTA. In fact, they've already broken ground on one of the new stations in Union Square. A couple of months ago, two West Medford residents showed their feelings against it -- to the tune of suing the MBTA and the DOT over environmental issues. Last week, the DOT answered in federal court.

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A project to pinpoint problems, and more Orange Line busing woes

Posted by Nichole Davis March 9, 2013 01:29 PM

Sometimes it's the little things that can completely throw a commute off track - pun slightly intended - and cause significant delays, which nobody wants. A slight rail defect, a loose screw, a blip in a signal system.

A team at a local university is now working to fix that, with help from the federal government - and a transit system halfway across the country.

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Cracking down for cash at the T, and a heart-wrenching Lego incident

Posted by Nichole Davis March 5, 2013 08:45 PM

That survey about MBTA overnight ridership from this weekend's entry may not do as much good as some of us had hoped.

While there's been lots of talk about Governor Patrick's transportation funding plan, we're now finding that the MBTA is kind of stuck between a rail and a hard place when it comes to cash.

The fiscal year for the agency starts July 1, but they have to present an as-close-to-balanced-as-they-can-get budget to the Board of Directors by April 15. Trouble is, many on Beacon Hill have said it's going to be several months before they can come to a compromise on the funding plan -- even just the first response to the proposed tax hikes and other revenue boosters isn't due until April 10th of this year. The funding may or may not show up in time, but nothing's guaranteed.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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