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FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: Kamekazi Seagull on February 03, 2010, 12:46:46 am

Title: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Kamekazi Seagull on February 03, 2010, 12:46:46 am
I am thinking about moving to the Nashua area (southern NH) and working in Boston.  Does anybody here make that commute?  Google Maps says it takes 48 minutes from Nashua to Boston, can I rely on that estimate?  My field of work (print design) requires that I tap into a metropolitan area, so its important that this sort of route is feasible on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: freedomroad on February 03, 2010, 01:04:39 am
This thread has been done more than once.  Most of the people working in the Boston MSA don't actually work in Boston.  The MSA goes from NH to RI and includes a lot of MA.  Salem, NH to Boston is the shortest commute.  A lot of folks live in southern NH or northern MA and drive south for work so the commute time during the normal daily commuting hours is going to be considerably longer than what google or yahoo maps claims.  Commuting an hour to work isn't uncommon or that big of a deal in the US, especially with satellite radio and podcasts.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Kamekazi Seagull on February 03, 2010, 01:35:41 am
Thanks for the reply, I just finished reading some of the other threads.  It looks like the consensus is that the traffic in Boston (the city) is atrocious, but I can't imagine it being any worse than LA gridlock.  Is there any sort of public transportation to the Boston MSA?  Like a train for instance.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: anon37268573 on February 03, 2010, 10:18:52 am
Thanks for the reply, I just finished reading some of the other threads.  It looks like the consensus is that the traffic in Boston (the city) is atrocious, but I can't imagine it being any worse than LA gridlock.  Is there any sort of public transportation to the Boston MSA?  Like a train for instance.

I commute from Salem, NH to Cambridge, MA for work.  In the morning, if I need to be at work at 9AM, the commute is about 1 hour 30 minutes.  I have to leave at 7:30AM  On the way home, it's closer to 45 minutes.  On weekends and late at night, making the same trip takes about 35 minutes either way.

You can take the MBTA to Boston.  But, the MBTA is a nightmare.  It's run by union employees and therefor constantly breaking down, late, and just in a general state of disarray and failure.  In most cases, MBTA train fares are more expensive than paying for your own vehicle/parking/gas.  There are some bus services from Nashua and Salem.  I've never used them.  They're subsidized by the NH government (tax payer) and that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I wouldn't recommend trying to commute from Nashua to Boston everyday, especially if you need to do it during rush hour.  But, if you only need to make a few trips a week into the city during non-rush hour hours you would be fine.  I've lived in southern California briefly, too.  And, traffic here is no where near that bad... yet.  But, just like southern California, a lot of illegal immigrants come to the Boston area so the roads and generally everything else is well over capacity.

It might be best to look at living in the Manchester area and focusing on finding work in Manchester and Concord with only occasional trips to Boston if work gets slow up north.  There should be plenty of work in Manchester/Concord and less competition.

     - anon

Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: MK on February 03, 2010, 10:35:43 am
If this helps, I learned of a guy who commutes from N. Hampton, NH to Boston...It takes him 1.10 mins to GO TO Boston and up 1:10 up to 2 hours on the ReBound, depending on traffic.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: JonM on February 03, 2010, 10:37:28 am
Yes, though depending on where in Boston.  I drive I-93 death-defyingly under Boston to a city south of it for now.  If I leave by 5:30am I usually don't hit much traffic, if I leave at 6:00am I can hit 20-30 minutes of delays.  No traffic for me is 1 hour each way, and it takes me 25 minutes to make it to the state line on I-93 from where I happen to live.  It takes me 18-20 minutes to make it to the state line on Route 3, but Route 3 is not a good path into Boston.  Happily a Free Talk Live AMP podcast is usually exactly 2 hours.

There is a commuter rail station in Lowell MA, and another line that runs along I-93 where the furthest station north is in Andover MA.  That parking lot tends to fill by 7:00am, so the next step is the much bigger lot in Woburn MA.

I happen to pass by that train station early enough to be able to park in Andover and take the commuter rail to North Station.  From there I would need to take the green line to a station that intersected the red line.  What I can drive in 30 minutes would take me over an hour and a half on public transport, because there is no way to go from North Station to points south of Boston (or South Station for that matter) easily.  If you find a job actually IN Boston taking the train probably will make more sense, parking can be quite expensive in the city, and on the occasions I have to run an errand there on my way home, I never quite enjoy navigating those streets.

If your comparison is LA...I've driven in LA, there is no comparison.  Though I believe the official driving slogan in MA is "Make the other guy brake"

I lived in MA long enough to know a lot of the secondary roads that get me back to NH.  It took me just as long with traffic lights to make it north as it would have sitting in traffic, but at least I was moving.  If you intend to work within the city, housing along I-93 or even along the seacoast is a better bet than route 3.  If you're working along the 128 (I-95) or I-495 loop roads, then either Route 3 or I-93 is a good bet.

Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Bazil on February 12, 2010, 10:58:34 am
I am thinking about moving to the Nashua area (southern NH) and working in Boston.  Does anybody here make that commute?  Google Maps says it takes 48 minutes from Nashua to Boston, can I rely on that estimate?  My field of work (print design) requires that I tap into a metropolitan area, so its important that this sort of route is feasible on a daily basis.

I occasionally have to commute from Nashua to downtown Boston.  It can take from 45mins, in no traffic, to over two hours in heavy traffic.  I also drive in LA on occasion, the worst traffic spots in LA aren't as bad as the worst spots in Boston, but LA has a lot more bad spots, which usually accumulate to bigger delays.  Then again if you commute to downtown Boston from NH you will probably have to go through the worst spots.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: freedomroad on February 12, 2010, 08:24:38 pm
I guess this seems obvious based on what was posted here but I'll write it just in case... If you commute from NH (especially Salem/Derry) to downtown Boston at night, even during rush hour, the commute isn't bad at all.  I did it a couple months ago and the commute by car was 35 minutes.  If you also need to connect via the subway, it can take quite a bit longer depending where in Boston you want the subway to take you.

A report with the 10 ten worst areas for traffic just came out and no MSA within hours of NH was included.  However, 4 of the worst destinations were areas of CA, including LA as the worst.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Dreepa on February 13, 2010, 06:21:57 pm
also not all jobs are 'in' Boston.  Quite a few are on the RTE 128 tech corridor.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: freedomroad on February 13, 2010, 06:26:51 pm
also not all jobs are 'in' Boston.  Quite a few are on the RTE 128 tech corridor.

Good point.  The Boston MSA goes from RI to NH.  The majority of the jobs in the Boston MSA are not actually located inside the city of Boston.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Bazil on March 01, 2010, 03:33:58 pm
Good point.  The Boston MSA goes from RI to NH.  The majority of the jobs in the Boston MSA are not actually located inside the city of Boston.

Yep I work for a biotech company just off rt3 in Billerica, which usually takes about 30 mins to get to from Nashua.  There are lots of big companies within a few minutes of here like RSA, SAP, iRobot, and the list goes on.  There are also quite a few tech companies in Nashua too so you may not have to go far to find a job.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: maxxoccupancy on March 03, 2010, 07:29:11 pm
I've done Boston and north shore probably a hundred times over the years.  I believe that the easiest commute is from Seabrook, where I live.  It's a straight I-95 to Route 1 all the way down, and you rarely hit traffic until you're in Boston itself.  Seabrook is handy because you're right on the freeway, and you rarely hit too much traffic anywhere--except Route 1 during the summer.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Kamekazi Seagull on March 04, 2010, 12:33:29 am
I've done Boston and north shore probably a hundred times over the years.  I believe that the easiest commute is from Seabrook, where I live.  It's a straight I-95 to Route 1 all the way down, and you rarely hit traffic until you're in Boston itself.  Seabrook is handy because you're right on the freeway, and you rarely hit too much traffic anywhere--except Route 1 during the summer.

I was surprised to learn that Seabrook was indeed the fastest way to Boston compared to Nashua or Manchester (but only by 5-10 mins) according to Google Maps.  However you do have to go through several toll roads no matter where you're coming from, how are the prices?
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Dreepa on March 04, 2010, 01:12:32 am
I've done Boston and north shore probably a hundred times over the years.  I believe that the easiest commute is from Seabrook, where I live.  It's a straight I-95 to Route 1 all the way down, and you rarely hit traffic until you're in Boston itself.  Seabrook is handy because you're right on the freeway, and you rarely hit too much traffic anywhere--except Route 1 during the summer.

I was surprised to learn that Seabrook was indeed the fastest way to Boston compared to Nashua or Manchester (but only by 5-10 mins) according to Google Maps.  However you do have to go through several toll roads no matter where you're coming from, how are the prices?

Rte 93 South no tolls.
Rte 3 South (below Merrimack) no tolls

The 2 tolls on Rte 3 are $1 each.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Brettp76 on March 04, 2010, 07:42:46 pm
I am thinking about moving to the Nashua area (southern NH) and working in Boston.  Does anybody here make that commute?  Google Maps says it takes 48 minutes from Nashua to Boston, can I rely on that estimate?  My field of work (print design) requires that I tap into a metropolitan area, so its important that this sort of route is feasible on a daily basis.

I commute from Nashua to the Metrowest Boston area (Natick/Framingham) via 3, the 128/95, and I-90. It's about an hour on most days but bad weather or any kind of accident can be trouble. Downtown Boston is more of a haul but still feasible - you'd just drive to a commuter rail station such as in Billerica and/or a subway station in North Boston.

A quick plug for our Nashua group:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=120035834535
 
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: maxxoccupancy on March 05, 2010, 01:47:26 pm
I've done Boston and north shore probably a hundred times over the years.  I believe that the easiest commute is from Seabrook, where I live.  It's a straight I-95 to Route 1 all the way down, and you rarely hit traffic until you're in Boston itself.  Seabrook is handy because you're right on the freeway, and you rarely hit too much traffic anywhere--except Route 1 during the summer.

I was surprised to learn that Seabrook was indeed the fastest way to Boston compared to Nashua or Manchester (but only by 5-10 mins) according to Google Maps.  However you do have to go through several toll roads no matter where you're coming from, how are the prices?

I've never paid any tolls going toward Boston--until you actually get into Boston.  The traffic on 95 has generally been milder and more predictable.  In fact, the first time I heard about Seabrook was from folks in Manchester who had to commute to the Boston area and wanted a quicker way in.  Tons of people from Seabrook (especially those living near the freeway) make the commute to Boston, Newburyport, Amesbury, Lowell, etc.

It's been one of the town's strongest selling points... plus we rarely pay tolls. ;D
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Brettp76 on March 06, 2010, 04:17:46 am
From a pure commuting perspective to downtown Boston the Seabrook area is hard to beat. However, for a bit longer of a commute you could live in a city like Nashua-Hudson as opposed to a small town. Nashua gives you all the retail shopping you can dream of with a small city feel, easy access to Manchester (Taproom Tuesday's), and a reaonable drive to Keene and Concord. If things don't work out in downtown Boston, Nashua offers the best access to jobs around the 128 and 495.   
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: maxxoccupancy on March 06, 2010, 04:19:50 am
True, but Seabrook gives you the small town with easy access to Amesbury, Newburyport, Portsmouth, and the beach.

And there are no tolls until you actually reach Boston.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Brettp76 on March 06, 2010, 04:53:51 pm
No disagreement here, it's all up to the mover's preferences. I don't think you can go wrong either way.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: maxxoccupancy on March 06, 2010, 08:47:03 pm
I think that it also depends a lot on what kind of activism you want to get into.  There are so many things going on in New Hampshire.  If your main thing is local politics and volunteer type stuff, then the seacoast is where it's at.  If your main interest is state politics, then you might want to compare your commute time with Concord and work.  To be honest, Salem can be almost as far a drive from Concord as Hampton or Portsmouth.  If you like the seacoast better (I do, and few people leave here once they settle), then you might consider the milder climate and beach access offered here. 

As a movement, we have not yet staked out the most important swing voting districts, though I think we should.  That way, folks concerned mainly with State issues can get a hint about where to settle.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Dreepa on March 07, 2010, 07:56:08 am
I think that it also depends a lot on what kind of activism you want to get into.  There are so many things going on in New Hampshire.  If your main thing is local politics and volunteer type stuff, then the seacoast is where it's at. 

You can get involved in 'local politics' no matter where you live in New Hampshire.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Pat K on March 07, 2010, 08:02:30 pm
I bet that's why they call it "local politics" !
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: maxxoccupancy on March 07, 2010, 09:00:03 pm
The 93 corridor is getting a lot of people who love State House activism, while Cheshire County is getting lots of CD-nonvoter-protester types.  The seacoast is getting a lot more low key, local activism folks.  Lots of seacoasters are running for or serving in local positions, and most are focusing in on local media or local politics.  Northern New Hampshire is getting a lot of the "leave me alone coalition," and there's something altogether different going on up there.
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: Kamekazi Seagull on March 11, 2010, 02:31:58 am
Are there any commuter trains going from the Seacoast to Boston?
Title: Re: Living in NH and working in Boston?
Post by: freedomroad on March 11, 2010, 07:51:40 am
Yes.  Amtrak.  http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/