Lansdowne (MBTA)

Born in 1903, Tom Yawkey was an important figure in the MLB, having owned the Red Sox for most of his life. At first glance, he might seem like a reasonable enough man, even taking in Latino players when integration was key. However, this time also drew controversy towards him because of him allegedly (and, I’ll note, I haven’t found much to prove or disprove this) being particularly racist towards the Black community and being dead last to have a Black player on the team’s roster. He’d eventually go on to pass away due to leukemia in the ’70s.

Now what the HELL does baseball or MLB executives have to do with anything I write about here?! Well, I’ll tell you.

This station was formerly named after him, that’s what! Meet: Lansdowne (formerly Yawkey)

A Worcester train!
Bye!

Now, getting off the train after going through the literal pits of hell known as Tracks 5 & 7 at BBY, the first thing that I noticed was the unusual platform configuration. You’ve got two side platforms, but both platforms have the yellow line facing the Mass Pike. Now, while this is unusual, there’s a good reason in that it was built with minimizing the gap between the train and platform, as the station is built on a relatively sharp curve. There’s also elevators, and unlike most of the Worcester Line (including Back Bay!), it’s got level boarding, as the mini-high was demolished with a 2012-2014 rebuild. There’s also an overpass, both towards Beacon Street and over the South Station-bound track. Just be ready to deal with rabid Sox fans during the season, and the cars of the Mass Pike whirring by. Luckily, Kenmore is also in walking distance from here. Neat!

Woah.
A bunch of numbers (retired? I don’t really follow baseball.)
Woo, Mass Pike!
Looking towards Framingham and Worcester
Helvetica!
Looking towards Fenway Park
Looking up towards South Station, at track level
This gives off mini “pits of Hell” vibes
The Citgo sign looms…

The good: It’s got level boarding! Also, walking distance to the Green Line at Kenmore, along with commuting potential to Longwood, BU, and Brookline. And, the sports atmosphere, if that’s your thing. (it isn’t mine personally, but I know a couple of people).

The bad: It’s a bit tucked away, like it wants to be hidden. Aesthetics? Not the best, but whatever.

Nearby points of interest: Fenway Park is the big one!

Transit connections: Framingham/Worcester Line, MBTA bus (8, 19, 60, 65 on Brookline Ave.)

Overall, it’s an alright station. Being here in the middle of winter, I’m not sure if it’s enough to handle game day crowds for Fenway Park, but since they rebuilt it in 2014 I’m sure it’s probably not a major issue. Plus, the Green Line is a short walk away!

Rating: 6.5/10

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

Winter plans

So, since everything’s on hold until the spring, that’s not necessarily that I’m going radio silent in the winter. What DO I have planned? Well, not much, but here’s the tea:

– Green Line Medford Extension (Medford-Tufts, Ball Square, Magoun Square, Gilman Square, E. Somerville, Lechmere, Science Park) (12/12/22)
– Pawtucket-Central Falls (Commuter Rail) (date TBD, as close to day 1 as doable)
– Happy birthday! (Stamford, Greenwich stations, New Canaan branch, & a few CTtransit entries) (2/14/23)
– 1 year anniversary (DTX, Park St., Haymarket, Govt. Ctr., State St., North & South Stations) (March ’23)

Oh yeah, I also made a Discord server! Feel free to join.

SL4 & SL5 (South Station/Nubian and Downtown Crossing/Nubian) and associated street stops

These two routes are essentially the same, so I’m gonna cover them as one as the sole difference is the last stop. I’ll also be covering their street stops here, as once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Here it comes, from Boylston!

So the routes begin at either Downtown Crossing or South Station, but I caught the bus at Boylston. Once Taser and I got on, we proceeded to inch down Tremont St., and soon enough, Washington St. Now, the stops included were:
– Downtown Crossing
– South Station (@ street)
– Chinatown
– Boylston
– Tufts Medical
– Herald St.
– East Berkeley St.
– Union Park St.
– Newton St.
– Worcester Square
– Lenox St.
– Melnea Cass Blvd.
– and lastly, Nubian Square.

Of course, all these were on Washington Street, with the exception of DTX, South Station, and Boylston. And yes, while bus lanes existed, it’d have been much better for proper busways ala the Waterfront. And we crawled. And crawled. And crawled. Eventually we made it to Roxbury. And eventually after that, Nubian Square.

And the “stations”? Just bus shelters with heating. Kinda nice, I suppose. But this is rapid?!

See ya!
The only other rapid transit – and it’s a medical center
The tracks to Back Bay
A park
A sign at a stop
And another one
Nah.
And another one!
A wig store?
AND YET ANOTHER SHELTER!
And near Nubian

For the SL4 and SL5:
The good: Well, it links South Station and Nubian Square. For the SL5, replace South Station with Downtown Crossing and the Boston Common

The bad: JUST BUILD THE SILVER LINE PHASE 3!!! Y’ALL FUCKING PROMISED EQUAL OR BETTER TRANSIT TO THESE DAMN PEOPLE WHEN THE ORANGE LINE ELEVATED WAS DEMOLISHED IN THE ’80S, AND THIS WAS WHAT THEY GET?! THE PEOPLE OF ROXBURY FREAKIN’ DESERVE BETTER! HELL, THIS SHOULDN’T EVEN BE BUS, BUT RATHER ANOTHER GREEN LINE BRANCH! HELL, IT WOULD’VE BEEN BETTER OFF AS AN EXTENSION OF THE GREEN LINE, REPLACING THE MATTAPAN LINE, FROM BOYLSTON TO ASHMONT, MAYBE TO JFK/UMASS EVEN. It also gets choked up by traffic. So much for “BRT”.

Nearby points of interest: The businesses on Washington St., plus Downtown Crossing and the Financial District. There’s also Roxbury and Nubian Square.

Rating: 3/10

For the stations:
The good: They’re heated, mostly!

The bad: They’re literally just bus shelters. Nothing more. No offboard fare collection either (lmao what, use the honor system like in Union Square???)

Nearby points of interest: See above.

Rating: 2.5/10

Bourne (CapeFlyer)

Alrighty, a CapeFlyer station, and the only MBTA station outside my jurisdiction. Now, am I going to visit this station just to write a blog? Nah.

A low-quality JPEG from Wikipedia.

Yup, it’s just a sheltered mini-high. That’s it. No low platform, no nothing. There’s a ramp though! So, I guess in a sense, it’s a high-level version of Windsor Locks. There’s some parking, but not much, and not much in the way of transit connections. As for the location? Yup, it’s directly underneath the Bourne Bridge. Does CCRTA stop at this station? Not really.

The good: It’s a (very limited) link between Bourne, downtown Boston, and Hyannis. I’m sure there’s probably a few tourists who’d get off here, but it’s largely a kiss & ride station.

The bad: It’s literally just a mini-high with no low. It’s also not a good park & ride, and it’s directly under the Bourne Bridge.

Transit connections: CapeFlyer (seasonal, limited)

Nearby points of interest: Nah.

Overall, I mean it’s not too terrible. If it were a normal MBTA station, I’d say it has potential. However, I doubt the T would extend the Middleborough Line out this far. And truthfully, it’s a shame since I legitimately wish it wasn’t so difficult to go out to the Cape without a car.

Rating: 3/10

66X (Beach Bus: to North Providence)

Alrighty, first post in a while! This is what happens when you end up working a poverty job for all of two months – you don’t have money to write about stuff like this. So, the last of the Beach Bus routes, eh? Let’s dig into the sand with this.

Galilee!

So the journey, just like the last two, begin in Galilee and goes to Salty Brine. Wait, what? People got on! Holy crap, people actually use this! Granted, it’s all of two people but hey, it’s something! So, we progressed, and the driver stopped so a rider can get something that was on the side of a road – a turtle sand pit (you know what I’m talking about). So, after she brought it on and set it by the ADA seating (noone needed them, it turned out), we kept going. Next stop? Scarborough Beach, and OH BOY.

I was on the left side of the bus 🙁
Another Beach Bus in front of us
Across from Scarborough!

A LOT of people got on. One of them asked if the driver headed to Kennedy Plaza (yes), and about 12 more funnelled in and paid their fares. So, from here, we were off to Salt Pond, and then we began expressing. And express, we did…..

No Wickford today!
All the way by Jefferson Boulevard!

We got off at exit 16 onto Elmwood Avenue, and turned right. Wait, the route calls for a very long detour, but the Park Ave. bridge that’s being detoured around is repaired. What shall we do? Well, we detoured anyways. I guess the driver or RIPTA didn’t get the memo.

Exit 16!
Elmwood Avenue!
Bowlero! (wait, wasn’t this AMF Bowling at one point?)
No airport today!
Ah yes, familiar territory
The interstate from above!

From here, we went straight down Park Ave. to Cranston’s city hall. No, we didn’t deviate into mayor Ken Hopkins’ office, sadly. However, two people did get off here. Moving onwards, we turned right onto Reservoir Ave., and quickly left the 21 onto Rte. 10….southbound???? Yeah, the routing calls for going northbound here, but we went southbound and up I-95 north to Kennedy Plaza. Weird choice on the driver’s part.

The Park Theater
Reservoir Avenue!
The interstate!

Wait, why are we deviating?! Oh, right, Kennedy Plaza. By this point, I was the last person on and I told the driver I was heading to North Providence, so he pulled back onto Rte. 10 and kept expressing. Was I the “asshole passenger” of the day? Probably, as I’m sure he just wanted to go home. Nevertheless, we went up RI-10 and US-6, getting off at Killingly Street. It wouldn’t be until long, though, that we joined up with the 27. We continued onwards up Greenville Ave. and George Waterman Road, hooked a right down US-44, and ended in Centerdale.

Kennedy Plaza, almost
More expressness!
Killingly Street!
A plaza near Greenville Ave.
Billboards on Putnam Pike!
Look Taser, a Dollar Tree! (even tho it’s the same one from the 57)

The good: It’s a one-seat between North Providence, Cranston, Kennedy Plaza, and the South County beaches!

The bad: Best hope you don’t need a bathroom break.

Nearby points of interest: Rolfe Square, Centerdale, and Kennedy Plaza mainly.

Overall, it’s a decent express. For what it is, it gets the job done and very well at that. I do wonder, if having timed connections with the 27 and/or 57 would be better though…

Rating: 7/10

what the hell? why do I see a shopping plaza beckoning me in with an express trolley replica? oh god…

STAY TUNED