MetroWest is a cluster of cities and towns lying west of Boston and east of Worcester, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The name was coined in the 1980s by a local newspaper.

MetroWest ma highlight
Map of Massachusetts with MetroWest highlighted: Nine towns included by MWERC in red, 23 additional communities in 495/MetroWest Corridor in pink.


While regional definitions vary, the MetroWest Economic Research Center at Framingham State University defines MetroWest as the nine communities of Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland, representing a total population of approximately 184,000. With the exception of Southborough, in Worcester County, these towns are part of Middlesex County.[1]

The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce has a service area that includes these nine towns plus Westborough.

The 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership calls the region the "Arc of Innovation" because it is and has been home to many of Massachusetts' largest and fastest growing companies since the 1970s.[2][3] In addition to the 10 towns mentioned above, 22 other municipalities in Middlesex, Norfolk and Worcester counties are included in the 495/MetroWest Corridor as defined by the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership:

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) divides the Boston metropolitan area into eight subregions, each with a planning committee. The MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) works with nine cities and towns: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston. This list overlaps, but is not identical, to the other lists.

The MetroWest Daily News indicates its service area by listing 14 communities at the bottom of its web site: Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Natick, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Westborough, and Weston. Again, this list overlaps but is not identical to any of the other lists.

Yellow Book's MetroWest edition defines MetroWest as all cities and towns completely or partially enclosed by Interstate 93 on the northeast, Interstate 495 on the north and west, and Interstate 95 on the east and south, stretching as far north as Westford and Chelmsford, and as far northeast as Wilmington.

Origin and acceptance

The MetroWest Daily News, based in Framingham (MetroWest's most populous town), circulates in most of the towns in MetroWest. The newspaper, formerly called the Middlesex News, South Middlesex News, and Framingham Evening News, held a contest to name its coverage area in 1983; MetroWest, reporter Greg Supernovich's suggestion, beat out competitors such as "Databelt" (a nod to the region's high-tech industry). The newspaper incorporated the regional name into its own name in 1999.[4]

Supernovich said he chose the name, MetroWest, for a number of reasons. One of those was geography. Both the North Shore and South Shore around Boston were lasting names, so he concluded, after studying a Boston map, that the name had to include the word, "West," since the region's towns were west of Boston. Also, he said he was the health/environmental reporter at the newspaper at the time, and his job affected his values. He thought of the American West as wild and natural, and hoped that the area west of Boston would maintain its natural heritage of some open space, conservation areas, river corridors, wildlife habitats, and clean air and water, a model that would create a safe and healthy place for its residents. Yes, he said, he understood the importance of business and commerce as the major contributors of jobs and economic vitality to the region, but he hoped they would pursue their interests with social responsibility to protect people's health and the environment. As for "Metro", he said it was clear at the time he chose the name that the cities and towns west of Boston would continue to grow as part of a metropolitan Boston area. Lastly, he noted that he liked the sound of "MetroWest", and its modern look of combining two words to create a new word/concept. (Supernovich, 2014)

Originally, "MetroWest" was newspaper and real estate agent shorthand for "Framingham-Natick area", but a 1998 article in The Boston Globe showed, by examining the local phonebook, how accepted the term had become in less than ten years:[4]

In the 1998 edition, there are 88 [listings], from Metro West Christian Academy in Ashland to Metrowest Urology in Natick, including such big names as Metrowest Bank, MetroWest Medical Center and the Metrowest Economic Research Center at Framingham State College. On Beacon Hill, there is a Metrowest Legislative Caucus.

By 2006, the name had gained such widespread acceptance in Massachusetts—and was so synonymous with prosperous businesses—that the airport commission in Worcester, a half-hour drive west of Framingham, suggested changing the name of the city's airport from Worcester Regional Airport to "Worcester-MetroWest-Boston Airport".[5]

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority was formed in 2006.


In Western Massachusetts, The Republican newspaper in Springfield uses the term "Metro West" to designate the city's western suburbs (and "Metro East" on the other side of the city).

The designation "MetroWest" is also used by certain regions west of metropolitan areas in other states such as New Jersey, though the term does not appear to have achieved elsewhere the level of usage it has in Massachusetts.


  1. ^ MetroWest Economic Research Center
  2. ^ Sege, Irene (1981-06-01). "Go west to where the action is: Boston's growing western suburbs". Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  3. ^ 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership
  4. ^ a b Higgins, Richard. "Metrowest: Gimmick or Identity?" The Boston Globe, p. 1, October 18, 1998.
  5. ^ MacCormack, D. Craig. "Airport in Name Game". Boston Herald, p. 28, May 12, 2006.

External links

Ashland, Massachusetts

Ashland is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the MetroWest region. The population was 16,593 at the 2010 census.

Ashton Gate railway station

Ashton Gate railway station was a railway station serving the Ashton Gate area of Bristol, England, which included Ashton Gate football ground, the home ground of Bristol City F.C.. It was located on the Portishead Railway.

Recent proposals have been made for the station to reopen as part of the MetroWest project to improve rail transport in the Greater Bristol area.

Framingham, Massachusetts

Framingham ( (listen)) is a city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. Incorporated in 1700, it is within Middlesex County and the MetroWest subregion of the Greater Boston metropolitan area. The city proper covers 25 square miles (65 km2) with a population of 68,318 in 2010, making it the 14th most populous municipality in Massachusetts. As of 2017 the estimated population was 72,032. Residents voted in favor of adopting a charter to transition from a representative town meeting system to a mayor–council government in April 2017, and the municipality transitioned to city status on January 1, 2018.

Framingham Public School District

The Framingham Public School District or Framingham Public Schools (FPS) comprises thirteen public schools in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. It is classified as one of the state's 24 urban school districts, while the district generally describes itself as urban/suburban. The school district's main offices are located at 73 Mount Wayte Avenue in Framingham, in what is known as the Perini building.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s Framingham upgraded its schools, replacing the former Cameron school with a completely new school and performed major renovations to the Wilson elementary school, the McCarthy elementary school and the high school. Two public school buildings that were mothballed due to financial issues or population drops were leased to the Metrowest Jewish Day School (at the former Juniper Hill Elementary) and Mass Bay Community College (at the former Farley Middle school). At some point in the 1980s, the district sold off some of its older, smaller schools that were no longer being used, including Lincoln, Roosevelt and Washington. These schools were originally constructed in the 1930s as part of several WPA buildings. Additionally, the former Memorial school on Hollis street was closed when high levels of asbestos was found in the building. The Lincoln school is now a medical office building, Memorial and Roosevelt are now senior citizen housing and Washington demolished and replaced with a park.

The Framingham School Department can trace its roots back to 1706 when the town hired its first school master, Deacon Joshua Hemenway. While Framingham had its first school master, it did not get its own public school building until 1716. The first high school, the Framingham Academy, opened its doors in 1792; however that school was eventually closed due to financing issues and the legality of the town providing funds for a private school. The first town-operated high school opened in 1852 and has been in operation continuously in numerous locations throughout the town.The Superintendent of Schools is Dr. Robert Tremblay.

Learned Pond

Learned Pond was formed during the last glaciation. It is next to Brigham Road and Union Ave in Framingham, Massachusetts next to MetroWest Medical Center and Marian High School (Massachusetts) at an elevation of 165 ft. The pond has a beach and is surrounded in parts by woods.

Marlborough, Massachusetts

Marlborough (formerly spelled Marlboro) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 38,499 at the 2010 census. Marlborough became a prosperous industrial town in the 19th century and made the transition to high technology industry in the late 20th century after the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Marlborough was declared a town in 1660. It was incorporated as a city in 1890 when it changed its Municipal charter from a New England town meeting system to a Mayor–council government.

MetroWest (Bristol)

MetroWest, formerly known as the Greater Bristol Metro, is a project to improve the rail services in Bristol, England, and the surrounding region. It was first proposed at First Great Western's Stakeholder Event in March 2008. The aim of the project is to develop half-hourly services through central Bristol which will also serve the surrounding West of England region. Transport campaigning group, Transport for Greater Bristol are actively supporting the proposal, as are the four unitary authorities under the West of England Combined Authority.

MetroWest Medical Center

MetroWest Medical Center is a teaching hospital in Framingham and Natick, Massachusetts.

It is the largest health care provider in the MetroWest region between Boston and Worcester. MWMC was formed by the 1992 merger of two hospitals in neighboring towns: Framingham Union Hospital and Natick's Leonard Morse Hospital; the two hospitals have a combined capacity of 302 beds. It was acquired by Columbia/HCA in 1996; Tenet Health Systems in 1999; Vanguard Health Systems in 2009; and once again Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 2013 when Tenet acquired Vanguard. MWMC also operates an outpatient diagnostic and rehabilitation facility, MetroWest Wellness Center, in Framingham.

Country music artist Jo Dee Messina was born at the hospital.

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) is a regional public transit authority in the state of Massachusetts providing bus and paratransit service to eleven communities in the Boston MetroWest. The MWRTA was formed in 2006 and began service on July 1, 2007 with the purpose of filling a void in public transportation service in the MetroWest. Through a commitment to deliver expanded public transportation service to the business and commercial hubs across the MetroWest region, the goals and purpose of the MWRTA are embodied in its mission statement: "Build a public transportation system to deliver convenient and dependable service that enhances mobility, environmental quality and economic vitality in the region." Funding for the MWRTA comes partially from the state and local governments of the communities it operates within.

Natick Mall

The Natick Mall (previously named the Natick Collection) is a shopping mall in Natick, Massachusetts. The original facility was the first enclosed shopping mall in Greater Boston upon opening in 1966; it was demolished and replaced by a larger building in 1994 and expanded in 2007. The mall, with the adjacent Shopper's World power center in Framingham, are major components of the Golden Triangle shopping district in the center of MetroWest, situated between Route 9 and Route 30. With 1,860,000 square feet (173,000 m2) of gross leasable area, the Natick Mall is the largest in New England by number of tenants, with 214. It is currently owned by Brookfield Properties Retail Group.

As of 2019, the Natick Mall is anchored by department stores Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and supermarket Wegmans. Previous anchors include department stores Filene's, Jordan Marsh, J. C. Penney, and Sears. Full-service restaurant and video arcade Dave & Buster's will open in the second floor of the former Sears in 2019.

New Jersey Jewish News

The New Jersey Jewish News (NJJN) is a weekly newspaper.

Performing Arts Center of Metrowest

The Performing Arts Center of MetroWest (PAC) is located at 3 Maple Street, Framingham, Massachusetts in the lower level of the St. Andrews Episcopal Church, near Framingham State University and Rte. 9. PAC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit and accredited member of the National Guild of Community Arts Education.PAC is a community arts center that has been providing high quality, affordable education and performance opportunities in Music, Theater and Dance, for all ages and stages of development for over 35 years.

PAC offers individual instruction in musical instruments, voice and acting; classes and workshops in music, theater, and dance; theater performance opportunities for children, teens and adults; a dance therapy program for children with special needs; student and faculty recitals; and performances in the community and other special events.PAC has a strong history of collaborating with service organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metrowest, the Hoops and Homework after-school program, the Framingham Public Library and the Metrowest YMCA to bring educational and performing arts opportunities to underserved communities in the Metrowest Boston area.

Pill railway station

Pill railway station was a railway station on the Portishead Branch Line, 7.8 miles (12.6 km) west of Bristol Temple Meads, serving the village of Pill in North Somerset, England. The station was opened by the Bristol and Portishead Pier and Railway Company on 18 April 1867. It had two platforms, on either side of a passing loop, with a goods yard and signal box later additions. Services increased until the 1930s, at which point a half-hourly service operated. However the Portishead Branch was recommended for closure by the Beeching report, and the station was closed on 7 September 1964, although the line saw freight traffic until 1981. Regular freight trains through the station began to run again in 2002 when Royal Portbury Dock was connected to the rail network.

The station is due to be reopened to passenger traffic as part of MetroWest, a scheme to increase rail services in the Bristol area. The new station will have a single platform, an accessible footbridge and a car park, with trains running between Portishead and Bristol.

Public transport in Bristol

The majority of public transport users in the Bristol Urban Area are transported by bus, although rail has experienced growth and does play an important part, particularly in peak hours. There were plans for a light rail system, however this has now been dropped although it remains in the long-term local transport plan.From 2017 the Mayor of the West of England and the West of England Combined Authority have the primary responsibility for organising public transport in the Bristol area.

Sudbury, Massachusetts

Sudbury is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, it had a population of 17,659. The town, located in Boston's MetroWest, has a rich colonial history.

The MetroWest Daily News

The MetroWest Daily News is an American daily newspaper published in Framingham, Massachusetts, serving the MetroWest region of suburban Boston. The newspaper is part of GateHouse New England, a division of GateHouse Media.

The newspaper covers several cities and towns in Norfolk, Middlesex and Worcester counties. Until 1998 it was named for Middlesex County (most recently as the Middlesex News) or for the then-town of Framingham (through most of the mid-20th century, as the Framingham News).

The Milford Daily News

The Milford Daily News is an American daily newspaper covering Milford, Massachusetts, and several nearby towns in Norfolk and Worcester counties.

The newspaper is managed and printed by The MetroWest Daily News. Both are owned by GateHouse New England, a division of GateHouse Media.

Wayland, Massachusetts

Wayland is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,444 at the 2010 census. Wayland is part of the fifth congressional district of Massachusetts.

For geographic and demographic information on Cochituate, which is part of Wayland, please see the article Cochituate, Massachusetts.

Worcester Regional Airport

Worcester Regional Airport (IATA: ORH, ICAO: KORH, FAA LID: ORH) is three miles (5 km) west of Worcester, in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The main property lies within municipalities of Worcester and Leicester, with supporting facilities in Paxton. Once owned by the City of Worcester, the airport has been owned and operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) since June 2010.

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