What You Need to Know If You’re Commuting to Work Again

Whether you’re traveling by car or T, here’s what to expect and how to prepare if the farthest you’ve commuted recently is from your bed to your couch.

Photo by Alex Lau

By Car

The bad news: After a year of easy, breezy commutes for those still working in the city, traffic is gradually starting to inch up, and polls indicate that those heading into the office in the near future are more likely than ever to drive solo. The good news: With remote work for many employees continuing even post-COVID, MassDOT predicts the huge bottlenecks of yore will be fewer and farther between. Want to do your part to keep things moving? Try carpooling with newly vaccinated coworkers.

By Bike

Early in the COVID era, the bike shops were overrun by people desperate for safe ways to get around while enjoying some fresh air. Planning on pedaling to work sometime in the near future? Do yourself a favor and order your bike now to avoid backlogs. Once you’ve scored some new wheels, the next step is checking your ego at the nearest stop sign: Boston’s streets can be daunting for rookies. Consider booking a lesson with one of the city’s many urban biking clinics, and plan your route carefully, lest you end up taking a wrong turn into the O’Neill Tunnel (it happens more often than you’d think).

By Public Transportation

With MBTA commuters reporting that they’re likely to get back to their old schedules and pile into buses, trains, and T cars this year and next, those lightly populated vehicles of pandemic times could soon get a little more crowded. So what to do? First, take a deep breath and get used to being confined in a small space with strangers again. Then check out the T’s new online crowding dashboard, which, if there’s flexibility in your schedule, can steer you away from peak travel times. And whether you’re vaccinated or not, don’t forget your mask.

By Foot

If you’re lucky enough to be able to walk to the office…well, what are you waiting for? It’s the safest, healthiest way to get around, after all. Take this time to reacquaint yourself with your old lunchtime and afterwork haunts (the ones that survived, anyway), spend some money, and help Boston get back on its, ahem, feet.

Read more about how to manage post-pandemic anxiety