Creative ways to circumvent the B branch during Comm. Ave. construction

Boston, MA - July 24, 2018: A cyclist navigates Commonwealth Ave as preparation for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project continues in Boston, MA on July 24, 2018. The next phase of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge project starts Thursday night, with major effects on the Massachusetts Turnpike, the BU Bridge, the Green Line, and Comm. Ave. that ripple across Boston and its suburbs. Even commuter rail riders may notice more crowding, as some car commuters switch to trains to avoid traffic. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: metro reporter:
Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
A cyclist navigates Commonwealth Avenue as preparation for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Replacement Project continues on Tuesday.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been dreading this week (and next week) all summer.

As a Brighton resident who works downtown — and commutes at non-peak hours — trying to figure out the time I’ll need to take a train, a shuttle bus, and then another train sounds like a stressful ordeal.

Transportation officials are calling the Commonwealth Avenue construction a “great opportunity” to walk or ride a bike to points along Comm. Ave. But as someone who lives deep beyond the construction point, that would still require a train, a (lengthy) walk, and another train.


There has to be another way, right?

Well, there is — kind of. Here are the top five creative ways to circumvent the Green Line’s B branch entirely during Commonwealth Avenue construction.

I can’t promise these routes will make your commute shorter, but they’ll certainly be more fun than hopping between shuttle buses. And maybe you can even discover a new favorite coffee shop or breakfast locale along the way.

Commuting to downtown Boston

 The 66 bus to other Green Line branches: Our best friend on this alternate-commute journey is going to be the 66 bus. The 66 bus travels from Harvard Square in Cambridge to Dudley Square in Roxbury, but in this case, we’ll be focusing on the central portion of its route, where it rides through each of the Green Line branches. You can get on the 66 bus at Harvard Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue, and take it to Coolidge Corner on the C branch, Brookline Village on the D branch, or Brigham Circle on the E branch. Then take that train downtown.

 The 66 bus to the Orange Line or Silver Line: This all depends on what part of downtown you’re heading to, but the 66 bus also stops right in front of Roxbury Crossing Station on the Orange Line and then finishes up at Dudley Square on the Silver Line. If you usually take the Green Line downtown to connect to the Orange or Silver lines, the 66 bus will be your connection instead.


 The commuter rail’s Framingham/Worcester Line: This will be helpful only for Monday through Friday commuters, but the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line actually runs parallel to the part of the B branch that will be under construction. It’s a bit more costly than a regular MBTA subway or bus ride, but it’s a direct trip downtown with no construction in the way. An important note: Weekend construction work will require commuter rail shutdowns on Saturdays and Sundays during the project.

 The 57 bus: OK, so this isn’t really circumventing Commonwealth Avenue, but it will at least keep you from taking a train to a bus to a train. It will just be one bus to a train. So if that sounds better to you, take a walk to Packard’s Corner (or your closest 57 bus stop) and get on the bus there. You’ll still deal with Commonwealth Avenue construction, but from the comfort of your bus seat.

Commuting to Cambridge

 The 66 bus to the Red Line: There aren’t as many options with this commute, but once again, the 66 bus comes to the rescue. All you need to do is get on the bus at Harvard Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue (or your closest bus stop) and take it all the way to Harvard Square, where you can take the Red Line wherever you need. If you usually take the Green Line downtown to catch the Red Line, here’s your alternative.

Have other ideas? Let us know in the comments!

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Felicia Gans can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.