Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Break Commuting

It is spring break here at Lasell College. The students have all rushed off to Fort Myers and other sunny hot spots. Staff members are still working and there are a few faculty members floating around. I have decided to take advantage of this open week and make some progress on neglected projects. I've also decided this is the week to experiment with my commute. With no classes to teach and no meetings to make, I can afford to explore all the possible combinations of public transportation to get to Lasell.

Let me start off by saying that I have not given up on public transportation as a means to move me to work. Despite my bad experience with the 505 bus last week (it didn't stop), I am going to press on. Today, I decided to give the 505 one last chance. It failed! With my son on my back in the Tough Traveler (made in Schenectady, USA!), we headed to the red line T stop in Harvard Square. We spent the next 30 minutes at the T stop. We had to let two trains go by as there was not room for the two of us. If it was just me, I would have squeezed in. But with the backpack, I thought it was not fair to jab people with the aluminum frame. Initially, we had plenty of time to make it to Downtown Crossing for the 8:44 505 bus. Now, we were approaching Park Street and it was already 8:45. I decided to bail out and take the green line to campus. This went okay but it was long. My son fell asleep in my lap it was so long. Once we arrived at Riverside, we still had to walk up the hill to campus. The trip took an hour and forty minutes. Ouch!

I'm still not giving up! There are more combinations to be explored. I've decided going downtown is not the best approach. Tomorrow, we will try something new. I just explored all the possibilities on the MBTA trip planner web page. I'm thinking tomorrow I may take the commuter rail from Porter Station to Waltham. Then the 505 or 558 bus to Lasell. If things run on schedule the trip should take 20 minutes to walk to Porter, 10 minutes from Porter to Waltham on the commuter rail. Wait 8 minutes for the 505 and then 10 minutes to Lasell. This adds up to about 50 minutes. Wishful thinking but I will try. I'll keep exploring options. I'm willing to walk a mile or more so that helps.

Even if the Urban Ring project takes off, I'm not sure it will help my commute. It looks like they may add a commuter rail stop in Allston near BU and the new Harvard Campus. Probably in about 10 years I might be able to take the T to Allston and then the commuter rail to Lasell. For now, I will battle on!

No comments: