OOH BOY, NOW WE’RE REALLY BALLS DEEP IN DOWNTOWN! Meet: Downtown Crossing, and the much older conjoined sibling Park Street. Now, because these two stations are interconnected, I’ll have to start with Park Street, which is the smaller of the two stations. With that out of way, here we go.
Say the line, everyone! “The doors will open on both sides of the train. For elevator service, please exit the left side of the train onto the center platform.” This announcement on the Red Line #3s pretty much sum up the unusual platform configuration here: two tracks with sides and an island. The station’s decently lit, and for being the oldest of the five downtown transfer stations, it’s actually not too terrible. The Green Line is a short walk up the stairs (or an elevator ride, for accessibility), and is probably the most straightforward transfer on the system. However, sometimes crossing to the other Green Line tracks can be a bit tricky. Some shops can also be found on the Green Line level, along with the Winter Street concourse and fare control.
And now, welcome to Downtown Crossing! Yep, still in fare control too! The platforms are much of the same as in Park Street, tiles and a little dingy. I was primarily on the Orange Line platform, however there isn’t a lot of difference with the Red Line. Now, speaking of the Red Line, Downtown Crossing is known for a “transfer of death”. Yes, it seems easy on paper if you’re from New York, where transfers from its Red and Blue Lines could be crazy, involving the Purple and Yellow Lines and is likely an ADA violation as well. However, when you have transfers like “up the stairs” at Park or Govvy, or “down & around” at Haymarket, it’s a pain. Also, it’s not friendly to tall people. The mezzanine around DTX is also a maze, which if I tried going around would’ve taken too much time and sanity away from me. However, the best I can tell you is it’s got an entrance to Macy’s and Roche Brothers, and likely a hotel as well. Oh yeah, the SL5 stops on the street at Temple Place. Neat!
The good: It’s two of the most-used stations! Downtown Crossing is also, as the name suggests, in the heart of downtown Boston where all the economic activity takes place, so naturally everyone’s going to be passing through. Park Street is a similar story, though is located on one corner of the Boston Common. So, if you’re looking to take the T to the park, get off at Park Street. Also, the Red-Green transfer is easy! And it’s easy to transfer from Orange (SB) to Green, as the concourse is right there.
The bad: They’re kinda dingy! Also, I didn’t visit it for this particular review, however what’s with that one staircase on one of the Red Line platforms leaving fare control perpetually smelling like piss? It’s always offputting when I’m trying to leave/attempt a transfer at DTX. Also, the transfers between Red and Orange aren’t exactly straightforward, so it’s easy (perhaps TOO easy) to leave fare control.
Nearby points of interest: The big ones here are the Boston Common and the various shops in Downtown Crossing. You’ve got theaters, restaurants (some better than others), Macy’s, Marshalls, and a number of smaller shops. Sam Adams’ grave is close by, too!
Transit connections: Green Line (all), Orange Line, Red Line, Silver Line (SL5), MBTA bus (15, 39, 43, 57 @ Park St, with the 7, 11, 39, 501, 504, and 505 at DTX)
Overall, I’m not too big on either of these, although I’d definitively say Park Street is better. I mean, for one it’s not a freakin’ maze and it’s trying to be a nice station. Furthermore, I just feel more relaxed in general when I’m at a park. As such, I’d have to rate Park higher than DTX.
Park St.: 6.5/10