Oak Grove (Orange Line)

Alrighty, now to the northernmost station on the subway system! And dear GOD is it ugly!

Helvetica!

So, of course, getting off and it seems like they were high on concrete when they built this. But, whatever, it was popular in the ’70s. The platform has a sheltered area and a bit of lighting, with benches, so there’s that. Meanwhile, the mezzanine is also well-lit, to say the least. I didn’t get much of a further look since the Orange Line is (as of me writing this) in a bad state with headways. But, parking is also plentiful, and two bus routes stop here. Vs. Malden Center, it’s clear this station’s much lesser-used on the subway and, presumably, the Haverhill Line.

Now THAT’s a lot of concrete!
OH DEAR GOD.
BEEPBEEP.
The mezzanine!

I’ll also add: you can’t access the Commuter Rail platform from the mezzanine. You need to go down and access it from the parking lot. HOW’S ANYONE SUPPOSED TO FIGURE THAT OUT THEIR FIRST TIME UP HERE?!

The good: Well, it’s the terminus of the Orange Line and it’s one of the primary park & ride stations, like Braintree is to the Red. There’s also bus connections and a Pedal & Park!

The bad: WHY, JUST WHY, IS THE COMMUTER RAIL PLATFORM SO GOD-AWFUL?! THIS IS LITERALLY A LAST-MINUTE HACKJOB! THAT PLATFORM IS ONLY MEANT FOR EMERGENCIES, AND NOW IT’S OPEN FULL TIME. YES, IT’S NICE TO HAVE, BUT THERE’S NOTHING! NO DEPARTURE BOARD OR COUNTDOWN SIGNS LIKE AT MALDEN CENTER! FURTHERMORE, YOU CAN’T EVEN DO A TRANSFER FROM THE ORANGE LINE FROM WITHIN THE MEZZANINE – YOU NEED TO GO UP, OUT, DOWN, AND AROUND. HOLY SHIT, THAT’S EVEN WORSE THAN QUINCY CENTER!

Nearby points of interest: Well, there’s a park at least. But, it’s largely suburbia so not a lot.

Transit connections: Orange Line, Commuter Rail (Haverhill), MBTA bus (131, 137)

Overall, it’s alright for an Orange Line station. It’s a sizable park & ride that fits the area well enough, maybe save for the ugly concrete. However, THAT COMMUTER RAIL PLATFORM IS A SORRY EXCUSE FOR A STATION. At least it’s accessible. Unfortunately, it neuters the score a bit.

Rating: 5.5/10

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