Forest Hills (MBTA – Orange Line)

Ah, the southern terminus of the Orange Line, at the heart of Jamaica Plain. Oh, there’s also a Commuter Rail platform here, sweet! Let’s look at this station a little further.

Wow, now we’re REALLY in the past! Oh look, Helvetica Bold in the background!

So, the Orange Line platform is your standard Southwest Corridor affair. It’s primarily enclosed with concrete, though, unlike most of the other Southwest Corridor subway stops. It does tell you which platform the next inbound train is departing on, though, which is nice. Despite this, it still screams ’80s MBTA.

The lobby

The station lobby itself is pretty nice. There’s an information booth at the center of the station, and the ceiling and roof is all glass, which lets in a lot of sunlight. Access to the Commuter Rail platform can also be had here.

Oh no, not this again.

Oh boy. Why did it feel like Back Bay again? Fortunately, because most trains express through here with only Needham line trains stopping (UPDATE 9/24/22: the MBTA has changed the schedule so that Franklin trains and a midday Providence train stop here), diesel fumes aren’t an issue unlike in Back Bay. The platform itself, however, was quite bare.

The train platform
And the other direction!

There’s two busways here, too. They’re either on the western or eastern side of the station, with a number of bus routes leaving here, such as the 32 to Wolcott and Readville. It felt a little dingy, but it wasn’t too unbearable as it was all outdoor otherwise.

One of the busways

The good: It gives the locals an intermodal transit center! The Orange Line to Downtown Crossing is about 20 minutes (once you’re on the train). The station is also in fare zone 1A, meaning that Commuter Rail fares are the same as the subway heading into South Station and Back Bay. Heading outbound, the rail line ends at Needham, although it costs $7 rather than $2.40.

The bad: Not much. It’s a little dingy, and the Orange Line platform is definitely showing its age, but aside from that I don’t have many complaints. The tunnel with the Needham line would be problematic if all trains stopped here, but fortunately that isn’t the case. Also, what’s with the last Providence train stopping here?

Nearby points of interest: Forest Hills, the neighborhood! There’s also the Arbortorium nearby, along with the Franklin Park Zoo.

Transit connections: MBTA bus (16, 21, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 34E, 35, 36, 37, 38,39, 40, 42, 50, 51), MBTA subway (Orange Line), Commuter Rail (Needham Line, Franklin Line, limited Providence/Stoughton Line service)

Overall, it’s a nice station. Sure, the platform is dingy, and there’s not much in extra amenities, but you don’t always need that when you have local businesses nearby. The building itself is quite nice, and there’s several things to do nearby.

Rating: 7/10

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