Getting from Park Street to the New England Aquarium

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Getting from Park Street to the New England Aquarium

Postby Yellowspoon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:57 pm

I was at Park Street two weeks ago when a couple asked me how to get to the Aquarium. I mistakenly suggested that they take the Red Line to South Station and walk along Atlantic Avenue. I had thought the walking distance was about 500m (0.3 miles), but it's more like 900m (0.6 miles). With the closure of Government Center, the MBTA's "preferred route" is to take the Green Line to Haymarket, thence take the Orange Line to State, thence transfer to the Blue Line.

Since the walking distance from the Orange Line to the Blue Line is almost the equivalent of three football fields, I wondered if I could find a faster route. With nothing to do one sunny weekend while my wife was shopping, I decided to get some exercise and walk around town. Starting at Park Street, Green Line track 3, and ending at the sign in front of the New England Aquarium, the MBTA's preferred route requires 725m (0.45 miles) of walking and took 23.5 minutes; 8.5 minutes of walking plus five minutes of riding plus an estimated 10 minutes of waiting for trains. Since wait times vary depending on your luck, I decided to use an average wait time of 3 minutes for the Green Line and 3.5 minutes for the other lines for this survey.

So, which of these alternative routes was faster or slower than the MBTA's preferred route:
    * Walk all the way via Tremont Street, Court Street, and State Street (Or Tremont, Bromfield, Milk)
    * Green Line to Haymarket and walk from Haymarket (One can see the Mariott from the Haymarket station)
    * Walk to State Street via Tremont, School, and Washington thence take the Blue Line to Aquarium (requires extra fare)
    * Walk to the Orange Line northbound via the Green/Orange Winter Street concourse, one stop to Blue Line, Blue line to Aquarium
    * Red line to South Station, walk along Atlantic Avenue to the Aquarium
    * Red Line to Downtown Crossing, Orange line to State, Blue Line to Aquarium.
Scroll down for the answer, which will probably surprise you.
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Answer: Of all the choices, the MBTA's preferred route is tied for slowest. From fastest to slowest:
    * Walk all the way: 14.5 to 15 minutes (1280m of walking). I walked it twice, using 2 different routes.
    * Walk from Haymarket 16 minutes (13 minutes of travel plus 3 minute wait at Park for a train) (800m of walking). Frankly, I think this is the best alternative. It's only one minute longer than the quickest route, yet saves 5.5 minutes of walking.
    * Walk to State Street and thence taking the Blue Line is 18 minutes (14.5 minutes plus a 3.5 minute wait for a train) (1100m of walking). While this is 5.5 minutes faster, it's almost as much walking as the preferred route and it requires an extra fare.
    * Using the Green/Orange (Winter Street) concourse to get to the Orange Line and taking the Orange Line to the Blue Line takes 18.5 minutes (11.5 minutes of travel plus 7 minutes of wait time) (750m of walking).
    * Red line to South Station, walk along Atlantic Avenue: 21.5 minutes (18 minutes of travel + 3.5 minutes of waiting) (900m of walking)
    * Via Red/Orange/Blue line tied the preferred route for slowest. The walk from the south end of the Downtown Crossing Red line to the northbound Orange Line is 2.5 minutes (1/8th mile) in itself. Total walking distance is about 50m longer than the preferred route, but the train rides are shorter.

Trivia notes:
    * The total walking distance from Park Street to the Aquarium is 1280m (0.8 miles). Using the MBTA's preferred route, the walking distance is 725m (.45 miles). The MBTA preferred route saves 6.5 minutes of walking, but takes 8-9 minutes longer to accomplish.
    * If one walks from the Green Line to the Orange Line (northbound) via the Winter Street concourse, do not use the MBTA's route. The south stairs (on the right, towards the Red Line southbound) are slightly faster/shorter than the north stairs (on the left).
    * Walking to the Orange Line via the Winter Street Concourse requires about same amout of walking as the MBTA's preferred route, but saves five minutes.
    * While waiting for a train, one might be able to save as much as 1.5 minutes by pre-walking to the right exit spot. For example, when one gets to the Blue Line, walk all the way to the front of the platform unless a train is already in the station. This, of course, requires in-depth knowledge of the exits and transfer points.
    * If one wants to get from Park Street to the Old State House, it's faster to walk.
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Re: Getting from Park Street to the New England Aquarium

Postby TrainManTy » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:37 pm

Walking along Atlantic Ave from South Station is arguably still the best option, however, if you're giving directions to people who aren't familiar with Boston.
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Re: Getting from Park Street to the New England Aquarium

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:42 pm

Your suggestion was fine - probably the simplest way.
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Re: Getting from Park Street to the New England Aquarium

Postby newpylong » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:51 pm

Walk up Atlantic any day.
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