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Worcester
  • $650   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1150   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $2091   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  northeast US)

76% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
winter cold snaps, rush hour
commutable to more expensive cities 6

SO, roomiematch.com's Worcester roommate rundown:

Worcester (say WOOS-tuh) is sufficiently separated from both Boston and Providence to count separately, but only just. Boston's about an hour away driving east, about 40 miles. Providence is same to the south.

(For still American comparison: In larger cities in the SW it can take longer than an hour to drive across. Maybe not at 3 a.m., but moderate daytime traffic, frequently. Again, same city on the address.)

There are a lot of respected colleges and respectable bars serving local students, along with several local breweries . . . but Worcester's not vibing collegiate like other "college towns?" It literally is, but feels not really?

It could be that campus communities here tend to be insular, in part because most students arrive by car, via highway. There are buses and trains operating in Worcester, but they're almost all for commuters, on their way to another town.

Public transit in Worcester is pretty much to leave it.

So Worcester often feels like a hub, especially for commuters . . . a hub that's hospitably full of delicious snacks you can get quick without reservations! Famous Coney Island-style hot dogs and roast beef sandwiches and Italian subs. Or maybe you'd rather catch breakfast at a local diner, or delicious neighborhood bakery.

Worcester hasn't made much effort on behalf of pedestrians. Sidewalks are poor to nonexistent. However, since the city covers a large area and receives heavy snow, substantially better sidewalks would be very expensive. In this regard, getting Worcester out of their cars would be difficult.

There's a municipal bus system (WRTA) but . . . did we mention you'll need a car to get around?

And you'll probably want GPS or a map when you do, because the roads are NOT like a grid, nope.

If you take transit to a nearby city, you might not drive all the way. Many Bostonians leave cars here. Happily there's still more than enough street parking.

Just watch out for rush hour.

The rest of the Worcester roommate lowdown:

  • small city established in 1722, near the center of Massachusetts and the Rhode Island border
  • about 200,000 residents
  • Summers are fairly moderate, winters feature frequent cold snaps (about 75 inches a year of snow, typically from November-April), while spring and fall are pleasant.
  • many that need to live near Boston consider Worcester an alternative lower-cost living solution
  • "triple deckers" are narrow houses shaped like boxes, usually 3 floors
  • home to College of the Holy Cross, Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Nichols College, Worcester State College, Clark University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Worcester's:

  • Worcester Art Museum: Second largest art museum in New England, since 1898. Known for American Art and Arms & Armor.
  • Union Station: Worcester's largest work of art.
  • Hadwen Arboretum (at Clark University): Since 1907, their "very own forest" with 26 acres of green including hiking trail, waterfront for swimming, and century-old trees.
  • Mechanics Hall: Built in 1857 in the Renaissance-Revival style, still known for its beautiful acoustics, now home to the Worcester Symphony Orchestra.
  • Miss Worcester Diner or Worcester Lunch Car # 812: Built in 1948, still operating across from a now defunct factory.


Here's the city of Worcester's 311, "your one-stop resource for all non-emergency questions!"





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.