Ashmont (Red/Mattapan Lines)

Alrighty, Ashmont, here we are! The end of the Red Line’s other branch! What do we have here? Oh, it’s just a decent terminal. Let’s see.

The busway

So, the busway is served by several routes running out to Ruggles, Mattapan, and even …Brockton?! Huh, guess I’ll be returning when I start reviewing BAT’s routes. Plus, we have the Mattapan extension’s ROW with a balloon loop. No PCCs to be seen here, though. Let’s go into the station itself.

Balloon!

Alright, so the station itself is glass-roofed and is quite modern, actually. Only nitpick are turnaround procedures, as they depend on turning trains around beyond fare control. But, whatever, it’s what it is. You’ve also got fare control, a coffee shop, and a fair amount of CharlieCard machines. In terms of aesthetics, I like it, and it even has the ringing bells for departure like the other termini. Yay!

Glassy!
Fancy!
LOVE THOSE HEADWAYS!!!
I genuinely like Ashmont for what it is.
Who the hell calls it Peabody Square?

The good: It’s got a number of buses, BAT, and it’s the terminal for both the Red Line and the Mattapan extension. Also, the glass aesthetics are just PERFECT for here. However…

The bad: There’s supposedly a Pedal & Park, but I didn’t see it anywhere. Also, the fact two trains can’t lay over on the platform at once is annoying, as is the lack of BAT fare machines. What were they thinking? Yeah, those are my major nitpicks. Also, fare-controlled transfers from the Mattapan to the Red?

Nearby points of interest: Ehhh, there’s a few businesses nearby, but it seems mostly residential at a glance.

Transit connections: Red Line, Mattapan Extension, MBTA bus (15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 45, 215, 217, 240), BAT (12)

Overall, it’s a pretty decent station, even has inter-RTA transfers. Only issue is that there’s no fare machines for that “other RTA” or controlled transfers between the Red and Mattapan.

Rating: 8.5/10

Arlington (Green Line)

I’LL TELL YOU HWAT, MY NAME IS HANK HILL AND I SELL PROP- oh, not Arlen. Alrighty, fine, fine. Welcome to Arlington Street. Goddammit. Man, the Central Subway gets a bit tedious. Fortunately, this is the last station!

Helvetica!

Arlington’s located at the intersection of Boylston and Arlington Streets, at the southwestern corner of the Boston Common. Looking around, it’s REALLY, REALLY disgusting and dingy! YIKES. Plus, this feels like the backrooms. At least crossovers are free and it’s accessible!

See ya!

Yeah, it’s also not too well lit on the tracks, but whatever. Moving on to upstairs, the ceilings are freakin’ disgusting, and apparently there’s restrooms here! Sadly, I didn’t peek, nor did Miles have any insight on them from when he made his bathroom map. Oh yeah, history! The headhouses also look old, like your stereotypical old-school subway headhouse.

Another train peeks in
History!
EWW THOSE CEILING STAINS DEAR GOD
Enter if you dare
The stairs. Yeah, they look a lot like Kenmore’s.

The good: It’s at the Boston Common! It’s also a short walk from the opposite end of Newbury Street from where Hynes is located. There’s also a couple of bus connections here too, and it’s accessible.

The bad: It’s freakin’ DINGY! I’d argue, it’s WORSE than Hynes, as the ceilings NEED a powerwash. I should’ve worn gloves when holding to the escalator handrails.

Nearby points of interest: Newbury Street and the Boston Common!

Transit connections: Green Line, MBTA bus (9)

Overall, eww. I hate this station even more than Hynes. And, since the ceilings grossed me out enough, I can’t score this high. Bleugh!

Rating: 3/10

Kenmore (Green Line)

Ah, the venerable Kenmore. The closest rapid transit stop to Fenway Park, and the one where all the sports nuts flood to during baseball season. What do you hide?

The Citgo sign looms ahead, from Lansdowne

Walking to here from Lansdowne proved to be an easy enough affair: just walk down Brookline Avenue, and right down US-20. And, sure enough, I was soon met with Kenmore’s glass-canopied busway.

Kenmore’s got a busway?!

So, I went into the station itself with its old school-feeling stairs down, and was greeted with a lot of green. There’s also plenty of sports-themed advertising around here, and even some history! Neat! Unfortunately, the platforms aren’t much to talk about aside from the quad-tracking design.

Down the stairs!
Historical photos!
NBA ads!
Yep, one of the few quad-tracked stations on the system
Green tiles galore!
LET’S GET KINKI!

The good: It’s not dingy like Hynes or Arlington! I’ll give it that much, and it’s better-lit! Furthermore, it has an actual busway! I’m also sure it’s enough to handle a bunch of rowdy Sox fans. The tracks are also organized, with the B branch getting two, and the C and D sharing two. You also have multiple ways in, via passageways and elevators!

The bad: Eh, I’m not sure if light rail can handle sports surges, but whatever. They sure like pipes, though!

Nearby points of interest: Fenway Park & the Citgo sign!

Transit connections: Green Line (B, C, D), MBTA bus (8, 19, 57, 60, 65)

Overall, it’s a decent enough station. At the least, it’s better than Hynes, and isn’t as grossly dingy. Plus, it’s accessible! Furthermore, buses actually have a proper busway to turn in and out of!

Rating: 7.5/10

Hynes Convention Center (Green Line)

Oh boy, Hynes! Let’s take a look at one of Boston’s conv- wait, what? OH, it’s a Green Line station. Alright. Goddammit. Let’s look at the Hynes Green Line station.

The train I took to Hynes, from Kenmore

Alrighty, so I got off the train after arriving from Kenmore and WHEW IS IT DINGY AS HELL! Oh GOD. Buzzing lights, concrete, bricks everywhere. Dear GOD is it terrible! Bleugh! Even the mezzanine is the same way. Accessibility? Forget about it! Although, I’ll at least give the T credit for investing in the installation of elevators here for accessibility. The headhouse is signed though, and there’s a bus stop with a large shelter across from the station, serving….just the 1. Yeah. It’s dingy, but not much else to say aside from the lack of ADA compliance.

Helvetica!
Type 8!
That’s very dingy!
The mezzanine!

The good: It’s by the namesake convention center! There’s also plenty of shopping around Newbury Street, with it even being closed to vehicles at times. The bus shelter is also decently-sized, if it’s still there.

The bad: It’s really dingy! And it’s not accessible!

Nearby points of interest: The station’s namesake and Newbury Street!

Transit connections: Green Line (B, C, D), MBTA bus (1)

Overall, I’m not big on this one. Yes, there’s a lot of shopping and a convention center, but the station itself is dingy and grossly dated. At least there’s also bus service!

Rating: 4/10

Columbus Avenue (MBTA)

Um, yeah, this is a bit awkward. So, I guess, I’ll say that the rule kinda is “if there’s helvetica, it counts”. Which, to my awareness, means these four stops + City Point all count. Now, there’s more to Columbus Avenue as well, including a bit of a unique thing that sets it apart from other busways in the region. Let’s look.

Walnut Avenue!

Now, all these stops have LED displays showing when the next buses are coming, have benches, T lollipops, and the Helvetica signage. But that’s not what sets these apart. What sets these apart, are how they’re configured in the road: in the center lanes.

Going out to Egelston Square, I was convinced these were absolutely dangerous and death traps, and overall just poorly placed/designed. Well, it turns out……I was proven wrong firsthand, and genuinely surprised. Walking down the 1/2 mile or so of center-running bus lanes from Walnut Ave. to Dimock St., I was genuinely surprised at how often people were actually respecting the paint, as well as how surprisingly easy it was to jaywalk. Actually, it also felt safe, I’ll add. Yeah, shocker, I’m used to yelling “HAIL MARY!” when jaywalking, but given they shrunk the lanes down to as small as doable, I was shocked to find that yes, I can actually jaywalk and not run the risk of being struck. Now, is it psychological in nature? Probably. But then I heard an ambulance rushing down Columbus Avenue and, they too used said bus lanes. Hell, even SCHOOL BUSES were using it. So, seeing all that firsthand and that they actually work BETTER, I got just one question:

WHY THE FUCK ISN’T THIS ON WASHINGTON STREET?! WHY CAN’T WE HAVE THIS FOR THE SL4 AND SL5 INSTEAD?! HOLY FUCK! THIS WOULD MAKE MILES UPON MILES OF DIFFERENCE!!!

Also, the lights looked funky like the lights on the Green Line’s median-running sections.

Weld Avenue!
Bray Street
Oops, the screen at Dimock St. is ruined!
WEEWOOWEEWOOWEEWOO!!!

The good: THESE WORK A WHOLE LOT FUCKING BETTER THAN WASHINGTON STREET’S BUS LANES – OR HELL, LITERALLY ANY IMPLEMENTATION OF BUS LANES I’VE SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, MAYBE SAVE FOR THE CTFASTRAK BUSWAY OR THE TRANSITWAY/CHELSEA BUSWAY!!! WHY THE FUCK DON’T WE HAVE THESE ON NORTH MAIN STREET, RIDOT?! WHY CAN’T WE HAVE THESE ON WASHINGTON STREET, MBTA? MAYOR WU?!

The bad: You kinda can’t turn left, but if you’re a pedestrian, that’s a nonissue.

Nearby points of interest: Egelston Square!

Overall, HOLY FUCK WAS I WRONG ON MY PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS! WHY CAN’T WE HAVE THESE?! JUST, WHY?! THEY WORK HELLA BETTER, FEEL CONSIDERABLY SAFER, AND ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE RESPECTED!

Rating: 10/10

Yeah, I just pulled a 10/10. Rare, ain’t it? This is the kind of shit we NEED to see more often! And, for once, I’ll have to admit the T actually did something right here.

Eastern Ave. (Silver Line)

Alrighty, the last one! Let’s look at the final Silver Line station (that is, barring South Station, but that’s a special one 😉 Stay tuned!). Meet: Eastern Avenue.

Coming on up!

So, it’s literally the same as Box District, Bellingham Square, and Chelsea. Yeah, not much new to see here. Heated shelters and the usual. Oh, but there’s a bike rack! Albeit, it’s no Pedal & Park. That would’ve been nicer, given the proximity to the Chelsea Greenway. Oh yeah, Massport’s shuttles stop here! There’s also a parking garage for, I think, airport employees. Yeah, there’s just not a lot here. Let’s get to it.

The drawbridge looms…

The good: Well, it’s your usual Chelsea bus station. Heated shelters and whatnot are the norm. Massport also stops here, which is a bonus.

The bad: You’ll PROBABLY learn to hate this station should the drawbridge be up, if buses are held here. Also, not a lot to note.

Nearby points of interest: Airport parking and a few parks nearby!

Transit connections: Silver Line, MBTA bus (112), Massport (77)

Overall, not a lot to say here. Next entry!

Rating: 6/10

Oh, hi Massport!

SL1 (Logan Airport Terminals) & stops

So, we’ve done the SL2, SL4, and SL5, and the short-turns. All that remains are the SL1 and SL3. And hell, the SL1’s the only one I’ve never ridden as I’ve done the SL3 plenty of times. So, let’s look at this “BRT” route.

Flight departures at South Station?!

First off, before even boarding, at South Station, Taser noticed there were flight departures. Woah, I genuinely never noticed them before despite riding the Silver numerous times. But, that’s probably because I never ride the SL1. So, the bus pulls up, it’s crowded (highest ridership of the three Transitway routes!), and off to Logan Airport!

There she is!

So, after running through the usual Transitway affair and express onto the Pike, we pull off onto what I think is the last exit, and right into the terminals. Get ready, because this might perplex a few people.

First stop was Terminal A. Nothing to note here, there’s at least signage here (and at all the stops). Terminals B’s two stops, and C’s stop were much of the same, as we weaved by every terminal. Terminal E, internationals, was also largely the same. People got on and off at each stop (predictably), with slightly longer dwell times than normal at each one due to loading luggage onto the racks. Yes, these Neoplans had luggage racks! After Terminal E, we were back onto the Pike and into the Transitway. You’ll ask, “where’s Terminal D?” Well, that doesn’t exactly “exist”, so to say.

Terminal A!
Terminal B, stop 1!
Terminal B, stop 2!
Terminal C!
Screw you, CBP! Also, Terminal E!
Oh no, dots!

The good: Well, if we look at the Silver Line as a rapid bus (e.g. same class as the R Line), then the SL1 is a pretty damn decent airport express bus. Sure, it’ll get clogged up on the Pike pretty easily, but for what it is, it stops curbside at the terminals, and runs express to the Transitway. Besides, unlike most other airport buses I’ve ridden to this point, it’s got luggage racks! The terminals are also your only officially free entryway into the subway system, too!

The bad: Unfortunately, it’s not true “rapid transit”. In fact, I’d argue the case for a people mover between the terminals, and some combination of Airport and South Station. Moreso, given that the Silver Line (and the SL1 mostly) is at the behest of mixed traffic beyond the Transitway.

Nearby points of interest: You’re not gonna get a lot in the way of points of interest at Logan. But you can change for the Red Line, Commuter Rail, Amtrak, and the other Silver Line routes at South Station!

Overall, it’s alright. As a normal or rapid bus route, it’s pretty good. But, as BRT, as the T advertises, it kinda sucks. But, hey, you can get into the subway for free! Neat! Hmmm, I wonder how many terminals one could touch before needing to leave fare control?

Rating: 5/10

Chinatown (Orange Line)

So, we go from the end of the line to the middle of downtown Boston. Let’s look at Chinatown, shall we?

Shiny!

So, the platform is a little dark, but the signage is also shiny weirdly. But, hey, I’ll take it. Fare control is a little small as well, and there’s stairs and elevators up to Washington and Essex Streets. Yeah, not a lot to talk about with the mezzanine, but it’s your standard affair. The headhouses are also alright, with patterned fencing things. However, there’s one major issue: no free crossovers. Yeah, that’s a yikes. But hey, it’s likely you’ll encounter tourists here along with the SL4 and SL5 at street level! Except there’s no shelter or anything. Oh well! Apparently there’s also a pair of abandoned entrances, but I didn’t seem to find them on street level.

OH NO, DOTS!
A little blurry, eh?
Stairs!
A headhouse!

The good: Well, it’s in a tourist destination (Chinatown), although relative to others it’s not that big a place. But, still, Boston’s Chinatown is still a place worth checking out if you have the time.

The bad: No free crossovers?! WHY?! Also, the lackluster Silver Line stop. I couldn’t even tell at a quick glance due to the lack of signage or shelters!

Nearby points of interest: Well, you’ve got Chinatown! Alternatively, Boston Common is a stone’s throw away as is Boylston, along with a few theaters.

Transit connections: Orange Line, SL4, SL5, MBTA bus (11, 15)

Overall, it’s not the best of stations. Yeah, I’m not sure what it is with downtown stations just overall being grade A trash seemingly, but this fits the bill. Hopefully that changes when I check out the transfer stations and Tufts Medical later down the road. Just maybe…

Rating: 4/10

The gate!

Orient Heights (Blue Line)

Ah, Orient Heights. Yeah, this one wasn’t too terribly exciting either. But, it’s got something the other stations lack! Let’s look.

Helvetica!

Of course, you have two platforms, with fare control lining the fencing on either side. It’s nothing much, but it gets the job done. And, hey, at least there’s a crossover within fare control! Neat…..except there’s a FENCE running down the bridge halfway! WHY?! At least, there’s a busway on the Bowdoin-bound side. And, hey, for foamers it’s nice since you have the Blue Line yard and you’re also in walking distance to the beach, if airplanes are your thing.

See ya!
From the overpass!
Taser walking down the stairs!
Fare control!
THE YARD…
History!

The good: Well, it’s in the middle of a residential neighborhood, has a busway with a countdown clock, and (somehow missing it) a surprising amount of parking. Yeah, this is technically a park & ride!

The bad: The emergency exits. Taser almost went through one in attempt to find the crossover, for crying out loud! I mean, yeah, it’s not big, but it shouldn’t be that easy for an idiot to try going through the emergency exit!

Nearby points of interest: You have Orient Heights Beach! Yeah, I don’t know a lot about the area.

Transit connections: Blue Line, MBTA bus (120, 712, 713)

Overall, it’s an alright station for what it is. Sure, it doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of Assembly or the ugly concrete hellscapeness of Oak Grove (wink wink), but it still stands out- wait, are those solar panels on the roof? Yeah, I’m not sure but look at satellite imagery makes it seem so.

Rating: 7.5/10

Cleveland Circle & Reservoir (Green Line)

Ah, Cleveland Circle and Reservoir. They’re like two twins that absolutely CANNOT be separated under any circumstances. Let’s look at them.

Helvetica!

First, Cleveland Circle. It’s pretty generic with not a lot to note. Benches exist, as do wastebins and, supposedly, a CharlieCard validator (but c’mon, who’s validating their fare???) Yeah, not a lot to note about this one. It’s got an on-foot transfer to Reservoir, though, by virtue of the two essentially being one and the same.

Unofficial parking!
Two Type 8/7 combos!
Benches, shelter, wastebins
Track connections to Reservoir. Look both ways!

Alrighty, now to Reservoir. Reservoir’s a little more exciting. For one, you have fully sheltered platforms with benches. Supposedly, the inbound platform (towards Union Square) is also heated, but I didn’t try it out. There’s also a third platform which, I think, is used for short-turns and in the event the line past here is bustituted. I’m not sure though, so if anyone’s better-versed on this, please tell me if I’m right or not. Both stations also have a bus connection to the 51 to Forest Hills and the 86 to Sullivan and Union Squares, with Reservoir having the busway. Neat! Lastly, why the HELL is there a wheelchair lift if level boarding is a thing with the Type 8s and 9s?! I mean, I’m sure there’s a reason, but what reasonable operator’s gonna want to get out and crank a wheelchair lift all of 3 inches off the ground?!

See ya!
Reservoir’s Helvetica!
The tunnel towards Riverside
The Reservoir yard!
I think this train was part of a nonrevenue equipment move.
The maintenance facility!
“Screw you and your wheelchair lift!”
– Taser, probably

The good: Well, they’re a decent transfer together, though you’ll have to let the operator know and, if they’re nice enough, will let you tap a transfer without paying on your CharlieCard. However, be prepared to pay twice. It’s also an alright foaming spot for the Green Line, as you have the Reservoir yard right there. Cleveland Circle also has the amenities one would expect, with a sheltered area and wastebins.

The bad: Cleveland Circle is kinda generic. Not a lot to note. Reservoir also feels kinda generic otherwise, but at least has the busway. Plus, there’s the fact equipment moves from the C branch have to use the street-running tracks on Chestnut Hill Avenue poses a danger to people, moreso if they’re unaware of their surroundings.

Nearby points of interest: You’ve got Boston College, as well as a few playgrounds and the namesake Chestnut Hill Reservoir!

Transit connections: Green Line (D at Reservoir, C at Cleveland Circle), MBTA bus (51, 86 at Reservoir)

Overall, they’re alright, but like, there’s just not a lot to them. I hate to say it, but there’s not a lot in the way of memorable stuff or any charm like Coolidge Corner. And, yes, since they’re essentially one station that operates as two in practice, I’m counting it as two for the purpose of scoring.

Rating:
6/10 for Reservoir
5/10 for Cleveland Circle