6:30 am and your alarm goes off. Your arm reaches behind you for the pillow that was shoved into the bed frame during the night and you stuff as much as you can into your left ear. If you ignore the blaring beeps they will stop, right? It’s 6:41 am and if you do not get up now, you’ll be stuck in traffic for an hour. Even if you leave on time, you’ll still have to wait in the mass of cars that clog the Braintree Split. Welcome to Boston, where commuters spent an average of 64 hours last year in deadstop traffic (Boston Magazine). It’s time to start commuting smarter. Take a look at this list of ways to gain the most out of your commute.
Leave for work earlier
I know most of you don’t want to leave the house earlier than necessary, but doing so could get you into the city before the 7/8 am rush hours hit. Join a gym around the office or take a walk before going in. Now you’re done with your daily workout and you just avoided an extra 30 minutes of sitting in the car. For the extra stubborn ones who won’t get up earlier, flop this and workout at the end of the day, avoiding the rush home traffic.
Take the T
Try taking the T. When it’s not snowing outside this is the most reliable way to travel in the city. The best part? You can be productive (read a book, get some work done, or take a moment to daydream) because hey, your eyes don’t have to be on the road.
Bike or Walk
According to this article in the Boston Globe, the number of people who biked to work almost doubled from 0.9% to 2.4% in the last decade and this number will continue to grow. If you prefer walking, out of the 30 largest cities in America, Boston was ranked number one with the highest rate of commuters who walk to work (Boston Globe). Jumping on the bandwagon is not the advice the hipster crowd of my generation typically gives or takes, but here’s a time when I approve.
Take an Uber/Zipar
If you don’t plan on traveling far, take an Uber or Zipcar. Some advice? Plan trips with friends and split the cost or take Uberpool.
For those who love driving too much to give up, I have good news. You don’t have to choose between leaving your car behind or avoiding the hassle of parking once you get into the city. Just download SPOT and park easier. Your commute time will shrink in size, trust me!