UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

All Green Things Considered

Expensive parking and frustrating trips on the T leave UMB students asking for commute alternatives. To suggest biking may seem too obvious.

“Not only is parking expensive,” commented UMB Junior Stacy, who did not want her last name printed, “but the costs of having a car in the city are expensive, too.”

Still, biking poses several challenges. Students from the surrounding areas of Dorchester and South Boston can bike directly to school, but others would have to combine biking with the subway and/or commuter rail to make it a viable part of their daily commute.

Some students at UMB ride their bikes to commuter rail stations, and park them on bike racks there. Unfortunately thes stations only let bikes board trains during non-rush hour times.

The subway has similar time restrictions (unless you own a folding bike). You cannot take a bike on the subway between 7-10am and 4-7pm. The Green Line excludes all bikes except folding bikes during all times. Go to mbta.com/riding_the_t/bikes for more information, and other provisions and exclusions. Once you are on the train you will not need to bike any further because the UMB shuttle bus system is well funded and consistent. While the train is a good fall back for bad weather, on a nice day why not ride a bike for an hour rather than spend that time on stuffy train cars? There are bike routes all over Boston.

The boardwalk straddling UMB and the mighty Atlantic not only connects students from Morrissey Boulevard to UMass, but it also wraps around the JFK museum and travels to Castle Island. Students are finding that those who have a bike or invest in one have a cost-effective, energy efficient, and healthy way to commute. The boardwalk not only links communities with a safe route to UMB, students are becoming more aware of an amazing opportunity the boardwalk offers.

“I used to walk along the boardwalk between classes just to get some fresh air” UMB Sophomore Caitlin reminisces, “but once I took my bike to Castle Island, I was astonished how beautiful it was. No one can graduate without experiencing it.”

Also Carson beach is just minutes away, and extremely accessible by the boardwalk. In the winter, the boardwalk is plowed. According to the Parking & Transportation Department at UMB, “roads and parking lots get plowed first” but the boardwalk is recognized as a sidewalk, and is attended too afterward. UMB also has bike racks throughout the campus, and lockers (if you need to change clothes) are offered through Student Activities (located on the third floor of the campus center) for a reasonable fee.

Massbike.org is a great resource as well for new students who are contemplating joining students who are biking as part of their commute option.

\Contact Marcie Bilodeau at [email protected]

Search Google Maps to find a bike route that suits you.

For example, Mass Ave runs all the way from Cambridge almost to Campus. When Mass Ave ends at the intersection with Columbia road, cross the intersection and veer right behind the 24 Hour Store onto E. Cottage Street. At Pleasant Street take a right, and follow it through one light. At the second light take a left onto Savin Hill Ave, which runs past the Savin Hill T station, and over 93. Once over this bridge and past the train station take the first left, which will also be Savin Hill Ave. Follow this road past a red house on the left, and take a left on the short street that connects Savin Hill Ave with Morrissey Blvd.