By David Li
Warren Towers was definitely one of the most convenient, if not uncomfortable, dorms on the Charles River Campus. If you are in the College of Arts and Sciences, i.e. the largest college at BU, you can almost always be certain that you won’t ever be late for a class so long as you left Warren five minutes before class start time.
However, those of us who made the bold choice to move to Allston, one of the most popular off-campus locations for BU kids, may have a tough time accepting the reality that we will spend at least 20 minutes each way getting to and from your classes in East. Below is a ranking of (somewhat) good to worst ways you can get to East from Allston, or anywhere in deep West, really.
BU Shuttle (BUS)
Surprise, I don’t hate the BUS! You’ll have to walk to StuVi2, but hey, it’s free. It covers most of the campus, and there are buses that operates as late as 4:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
Nevertheless, like other public transports, the BUS can be slow, and you may have to wait for a while for a bus to come. The BUS also doesn’t operate on Sunday during the day, so don’t count on it then. However, it can be a really convenient way to get to certain spots on campus when you see it coming around the bend.
Public Transport: The T and Bus Route 57
The MBTA’s B Line train has eight stops along the Charles River Campus, so it’s one of the most convenient way to get to classes. It also (most of the time) is more time efficient than walking.
That being said, it is very slow and often unreliable. You can expect to see three trains arriving at the station at once, or you may shiver in your Canada Goose for 20 minutes without seeing a train in sight at all. Although BU has many stops, they are all above ground, making long waits in the winter especially brutal.
Also, the train has to follow the traffic signals, so don’t count on it if you expect to blow through dozens of traffic signals on Commonwealth Avenue, after all the signals you blew off as a pedestrian.
The cost of a ride is $2.25 if you have a Charlie Card, or $2.75 if you don’t. Of course, you can buy a semester “link” pass from the school before the semester starts for less than $300, as well. The pass offers unlimited rides during the months of the semester, so if you dedicate yourself to public transportation, it pays off.
The route 57 bus isa similar route to the B Line train, the only differences being the cheaper price ($1.70 with card and $2.00 without) and slightly higher frequency and travel time. It’s typically neither faster nor slower, just dependent on traffic.
You can see Blue Bikes stations all along campus. As a BU student, you can get a 47 percent discount, or $52.50 a year. There are several bike stations in the Allston area, so it’s pretty accessible. You also don’t have to worry about your bike being stolen. My roommate lost his bike on campus the first week he got it, so I’m always cautious.
However, riding a bike on Commonwealth Avenue is undeniably dangerous. Before the construction of bike lanes are completed, you may have to share a lane with cars from time-to-time, and people don’t watch out for bikes when they cross the road. Also, the ground can get slippery in the wintertime. If you do choose to ride a bike to classes, make sure you wear a helmet and adhere to the traffic signs and signals.
The upsides of walking are that it saves money and is good for your health. You also don’t have to worry about influences outside of your control, like waiting for the bus or the T for 20 minutes when the mobile app tells you it should have arrived.
One downside of walking is that it is time-consuming, so expect around a 20–30 minute walk from most areas in Allston to campus. It is also highly unrecommended during winter, especially in the midst of a Boston blizzard. Overall, unless you are not in a hurry, want to get some outdoor exercise or are desperately saving money, walking to campus should be your last resort.
Super fast and super expensive. I doubt if anyone uses it everyday, but it’s a pretty reliable last resort if your class starts in 10 minutes. Just don’t mess around with uberPOOL or Lyft shared rides when you’re desperate.