BU News Service
Commuters say the key to moving around in Dorchester is flexibility. If the 66 bus arrives on the corner of Harvard Ave. anywhere near the time advertised on the schedule, the ride from Allston to Dudley station is a quick 40 minutes. But according to members of the Roxbury/Dorchester community, moving through the neighborhood is not as simple as it sounds.
Jamal Roberts, 51, a Dorchester resident said the secret to navigating transportation in the greater Boston area is anticipation.
“If you leave early, you’ll get there on time,” Roberts said. “If you leave according to the MBTA schedule, you’ll be late.”
He laughs and motions to a bus not stopping at a bus stop packed with frustrated commuters. The lights on the front of the bus read “out of service.”
“It is efficient,” Roberts said. “You just gotta manage your time wisely.”
But for those who have to keep to a certain schedule, a backup plan is crucial. Shane Alexander, 24, a rapper and performing artist says he uses multiple modes of transit.
“Bus, train, my feet. You name it,” Alexander said. “I used to bike [but] not anymore.”
He said the city just isn’t built for cyclists and cites three accidents he was involved in as a warning. Shaken up after each brush with death, Alexander gave up his bike collection.
“It’s never exciting to almost die,” he said. “I’d rather just walk.”
And while walking is certainly an option for people living and working in the Dorchester area, for some, like Alex Babcock, 22, a resident of Acton, MA the commuter rail is the only way to get around.
“I live in zone 6 so it costs me about $10 to get in [to Dorchester],” Babcock said.
But if he wants to stay with friends in Allston, he said, then it’s $10 to get in to the city on the commuter rail, then $1.60 for a bus to Dudley station then another $1.60 for a bus to Allston.
“At that point,” Babcock said. “I just would rather stay home.”