Sightseeing Sociologist Writes Tour Guide For Spots Near MBTA Stations

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The network of rail lines and stations throughout the Greater Boston area can seem daunting in size, but one proclaimed 'Sightseeing Sociologist' is sharing ways to take advantage of the public transportation, reaching tourist destinations located near stops.

WBZ's James Rojas met up with Kolya Lynne Smith, who says she just finished her 15-month independent research project of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. From that study, Smith came up with a guide book titled "Take Transit To Travel: MBTA," something that identifies attractions for those commuting on transit. The fruits of Smith's labor is expected to be published in September of this year.

To complete her research, Smith says that she has been to every active subway, commuter rail, bus, and ferry stop within the MBTA system.

"I've been to 411 [stops] — it's very surreal to me that I've gone to all those places. Traveling around you'll find all these different cultural areas around Massachusetts, and experience different cultures. I feel like I'm leaving the country without leaving the country," Smith said.

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One of Smith's favorite stops, along the Worcester commuter rail to Southborough, has walkable access to Hopkinton State Park from the nearby station where pedal boats can be rented to reach Bacon Island.

"Restaurants, nature, history, cultural, even playgrounds — I thought it would be really cool for a kid to go to a different playground every week. What started off as a bucket list item and an escape from being bullied, harassed, and retaliated against by management in subsidized housing, expanded into a travel book on the MBTA for all to enjoy and a travel consulting business," Smith said.

The travel consultant concluded her journey on the Hingham Ferry and 714 bus to Nantasket beach, where a celebrating party met her to mark an end to the research achievement.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports.

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