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Author Topic: Commuting to Boston?  (Read 9508 times)

jsChicago

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Commuting to Boston?
« on: November 15, 2012, 07:45:25 am »


I'd like to know if anyone has had to make the Manchester vicinity to Boston area commute recently
and how long and expensive that commute is.

If I get to NH, I'd much rather work in NH, but it seems likely - from reviewing dice.com - that
I might have to work a contract or two in the Boston vicinity (I'm a C#/.NET developer) while I
try to find a NH opportunity.

Thanks.
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JonM

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 08:19:13 am »

If you plan to commute to Boston your best bet is to live near I-93 in the Salem area.  If you think you might work in different areas of Mass around the 128 (aka I-95) belt, then living between I-93 and Route 3 makes sense.  It takes me 20 minutes to reach the MA border via I-93 and about 18 via Route 3.  Once you hit the border it depends entirely on what time of day you are driving.  Were I to leave my house at 5am, I hit that border of I-93 at 5:20, and I'll hit the carpool lane in Boston around 5:45 before it closes to single passengers at 6am.  Many people from NH who work in the Boston area leave their houses between 5 and 6am, and some even sooner.  If you are working in Boston itself, if you get to the Andover, MA commuter rail stop before they run out of parking spots (which happens before 7am, though I have no direct experience) you can take the train into Boston, avoiding the traffic that starts building around 6:30am.  If you miss that stop, the next one with around 600 parking spaces is in Woburn, MA, which has a convenient exit off the highway before the intersection with 128.

Of course, coming home is the trick, traffic starts building around 4pm and doesn't really dissipate till 7pm, on a normal day.  If your employer lets you come in really early and leave really early, then it's doable without much effort barring weather or a bad accident.  If you work somewhere near North Station in Boston, then the commuter rail makes sense.
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Bazil

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 09:01:16 am »

Depends on the time of day.  I've had to make the commute in to Boston from the Nashua area quite a few times.  During low traffic times it takes about 45 minutes to get into downtown Boston.  High traffic times it can very greatly from an hour to two hours.  Most of the companies you are qualified to work for are mostly located in the "Silicon Vally" of the east, which is the RT 3 corridor from RT 95 in the Burlington MA area up into Nashua NH.  Commuting there from the Manchester area will vary from 15 mins to an hour depending on traffic and distance.
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Liberty603

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 09:56:38 am »

Welcome!  :)

Have you joined the FSP Job Alert group on Facebook? There was a recent posting for "Mid-Level c#/.net developer in Lowell - $75-80k", I thought I would mention that in case it might be of interest to you, as Lowell is right over the border from southern NH, much much closer than Boston. If you're not on Facebook and need the contact info, PM me. I would also not be surprised if you could find a position in southern NH - keep your eye on indeed.com as well.
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greap

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 10:05:28 am »

If I get to NH, I'd much rather work in NH, but it seems likely - from reviewing dice.com - that
I might have to work a contract or two in the Boston vicinity (I'm a C#/.NET developer) while I
try to find a NH opportunity.

Check out indeed.com

It would be extremely surprising if you need to work in Mass with .net generalist skills, I know about a dozen free staters with the same skill set with jobs in NH. In your jobs search make sure you include Nashua (largest tech center in the state) and the Dover area.
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anon37268573

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 12:04:04 pm »


I'd like to know if anyone has had to make the Manchester vicinity to Boston area commute recently
and how long and expensive that commute is.

If I get to NH, I'd much rather work in NH, but it seems likely - from reviewing dice.com - that
I might have to work a contract or two in the Boston vicinity (I'm a C#/.NET developer) while I
try to find a NH opportunity.

It's not bad at all.  Definitely better to work where you live. But, it's not a big deal.

I do it every day. The best way to do it is with Boston Express Bus. Many people I know that live in NH
and work in Boston do it. Here are the ticket fees:

     http://www.bostonexpressbus.com/fares.html

Some of the fares have actually dropped a little because the private company that run the service
has been so successful.  I think the last I heard they were hitting like 91% cost recovery (it's still
federally subsidized) which is amazing compared to the MBTA which I think is like 35% and
AmTrak which is like 9% or something insane like that. Still, the buses they use are the nice
"touring" busses. They're not like city busses w/ plastic seats or something.

I think a round trip from Salem is $20 and a monthly pass (unlimited) is still $315. I have a
monthly MBTA subway/bus pass for IIRC $45 as well. My employer pays for my subway pass
and for 50% of my bus pass.

You can look at the bus schedule to get an idea of how long the commute will take. I drove from
Salem to Boston for a couple years. The difference between driving yourself in the stop and go
traffic and relaxing and working on a laptop on a bus feels like a difference between 5 hours
and 5 minutes.

The bus stations have free parking. Many people use it to avoid paying for air port parking when
they take trips longer than a few days. But there's still plenty of spots.

In terms of the difference in living in the Salem, Londonderry, or Manchester areas, the further
north you go the lower your rent will be. If you take the bus the only difference in +10/15 min
rides.

I have about a 5 minute commute to the bus station. But, I know people that have >15 mins and
people that walk to the station.

There is also bus service from Nashua and the Sea Coast to Boston.
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jsChicago

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 10:45:44 pm »

Thanks for all the input, it was very helpful. Manchester to Boston sounds like my old commute in Atlanta; if
I didn't cross Chastain Road by 6:00AM it was a lost cause - might as well turn around
and go home.

I think I'll contact some recruiters 90 days before I make the jump and see if giving them
a head start buys me some additional options that will ensure I'm working in NH.
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freedomroad

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 11:26:18 pm »

Concord to Boston is also a daily bus trip. If you go rail, there are 3 Amtrak stops in NH. There are people in Maine who use Amtrak to work in Boston. There is also a railroad stop just south of Salem. Tons of people commute from CT to NYC for work. It is far easier to commute from NH to Boston for work.

Of course, most of the tech jobs someone is likely to apply for are actually north of Boston. Boston is what, 32 miles from NH. So we are talking about driving 10 to 25 miles. That seems more than doable.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 11:47:34 am by LoveAndPeace »
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doobie

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 08:54:40 am »

I commute from a bit north west of Manchester to Hudson, MA.  It gets tiring after a while.  My commute is an hour ten with no traffic and upwards of 2-4 hours with traffic.  The 4 hours is usually on Friday afternoons (if one heads home after 3pm) during prime outdoor season (summer/winter).  I'd say an hour and a half is my average commute, luckily I WFH 2-3 days a week.
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escapist_reborn

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 11:42:47 am »

Just be careful you don't lose your leg climbing those topsails.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-64CaD8GXw
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time4liberty

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 12:41:26 pm »

Really -- indeed.com

190 hits in NH for jobs related to .net: http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=.net&l=nh
91 hist for c#: http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=c%23&l=nh

I don't know everyone's circumstances, but I can't imagine a good reason to commute to MA if you're in IT/programming. There are so many jobs available in NH with no income tax and no commute.
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JonM

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 01:13:47 pm »

Some jobs in MA pay higher than NH, offsetting the 5.3% income tax, which you don't have to pay on days you work from home.
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jsChicago

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 09:55:37 am »

Really -- indeed.com

190 hits in NH for jobs related to .net: http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=.net&l=nh
91 hist for c#: http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=c%23&l=nh

I don't know everyone's circumstances, but I can't imagine a good reason to commute to MA if you're in IT/programming. There are so many jobs available in NH with no income tax and no commute.

Thanks, I'll add Indeed.com to my list of resources. I noticed on Dice that the Boston to NH jobs ratio was
about 30:1 so I will prepare for the worst and hope for the best.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 06:31:27 pm by jsChicago »
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doobie

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 10:47:09 pm »

Some jobs in MA pay higher than NH, offsetting the 5.3% income tax, which you don't have to pay on days you work from home.

Yeah, I'll put in that this is true.  I've looked into moving my job to NH, but generally, I'm looking at a 15-20% pay cut...and that doesn't even include benefits which right now my company does really well with.  Working from home 2-3 days a week helps.  I'd be driving 700 miles a week if I had to go into the office every day....that includes a toll (though I can add a few minutes and miles to get around); 11 hours a week driving, yuck!  Instead it's around 280 miles a week and 4-5 hours of driving. 
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maxxoccupancy

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Re: Commuting to Boston?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 12:49:18 pm »

Quite a few people in Seabrook have moved here because it shortens their commute to Boston.
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