Central Square (Lynn) (MBTA)

Okay, okay, I know I’m going to get some heat for reviewing a station undergoing major renovations, and for calling it “Lynn Center”. However, I REFUSE to call it “Central Square” because one already exists in Cambridge. Wait, waht? Oh, I called that blog entry “Central Square (Cambridge) (Red Line)”? Well shit, guess March ’23 me was already very aware that I’d have to do Lynn eventually. Well, here we go. Duty calls, I guess.

Very imposing concourse with Helvetica obstructed by the winter sunlight

I arrived here via the 426 express bus, taking almost a full hour to traverse the local streets of Revere, Saugus, Lynn, and the expressways out of Boston. The busway itself, serving as the North Shore’s primary transfer point, isn’t too much to scoff at. You have some shelters, a couple of bus stops, the “Downtown Lynn Bus Finder” thingy which is completely outdated. Hell, officially, the station actually has TWO entrances (one was blocked off, the other was via the busway), and you can’t even go up to the platform. There’s a lot of parking to go around though, and as stated earlier, the North Shore’s bus routes all converge here. There’s even a pair of CharlieCard machines, very rare outside rapid transit territory! Did I mention this place is very imposing, even moreso than Westborough or Canton Junction with their very, VERY big pedestrian bridges??? Yeah… Honestly though, the viaduct through downtown is kinda vibey though. But the station is insanely imposing, even by MBTA standards. Whelp, that’s all! Review over!

Bye!
CharlieCard machines!

The good: It’s a very short and sweet station review! It’s also ADA accessible!
The bad: You really thought I was done?
Nearby points of interest: Downtown Lynn!
Transit connections: All of the North Shore routes!
Rating: 3/10, this is pure depression!

Alright, review over! NEXT!

Oh dear god…
That’s very far…
Parking!
Sheltered crosswalk?! That’s a new one.
The garage entrance

…wait, what? You mean to tell me COMMUTER RAIL SERVICE IS A COUPLE BLOCKS OVER OFF SILSBEE STREET, OFF FRIEND & ELLIS STREETS?! Oh you’ve gotta be shitting me….goddammit, Ben, Brooke, and Mx. Stuffundefined…, y’all are lucky I’m actually unhinged enough to do this, and that I’m a glutton for punishment. Well, duty calls…

Onwards…

So, I started to walk from the Lynn busway to what’ll be dubbed as “Lynnterim” from henceforth (portmanteau of “Lynn” and “interim”, if anyone is wondering on etymology). This station opened this past Monday (as of me writing this, on 12/21/23) as an accelerated method proposed by Keolis to get service to Lynn faster than originally anticipated (9 months ahead of schedule!!!). Announcements at North Station advise those needing accessibility to board the two cars closest to the locomotive. Why? Well, the platform is essentially an elongated mini-high, about as long as the platforms at Old Saybrook or any Shore Line East station. And, quite truthfully, while the walk felt long (it was only 10 minutes of walking, even passing the Capitol Diner), the station itself is actually….pretty decent, all things considered! The PA system is surprisingly very beefy (much more than Pawtucket’s!) and the entire platform is covered, and also has benches and wastebaskets, which is nice. They even went through the trouble of installing proper departure boards! I repeat, DEPARTURE BOARDS FOR A TEMPORARY STATION! Oh, it’s also fully ADA accessible. Neat! There’s also a lot on the inbound side, however it’s a municipal lot and not an MBTA one. Honestly, very good even by normal Commuter Rail standards, all things considered.

DINER!
The almighty Lynn Viaduct
More wayfinding and ART
No commuter parking on the outbound side!
The way to the platform
I spy the inbound platform…
Yep. Still difficult to photograph.
A fully covered platform?! That’s a new one!
Helvetica!
Municipal parking!
Oh, cool, a train!
The train coming to a halt

The good: The busway is in downtown and serves all the North Shore routes, which is nice! Furthermore, there’s A LOT of parking. The Lynnterim station is also pretty decent for a temporary one, with a fully covered platform, benches, a decent PA system, more parking, and level boarding.

The bad: The garage is very depressing. Like, I hate saying it because it stands out a lot and it’s very imposing, but I can’t help but feel it’s an eyesore… Furthermore, barely any buses serve Lynnterim. I guess this isn’t a problem if you’re able-bodied, but I can’t help but feel it might be dicey for someone who needs an ADA accessible bus to CR transfer…

Nearby points of interest: Downtown Lynn, of course! Near the CR platforms? Well, you got the Council on Aging right next door and a lot of suburban sprawl close by… sorry!

Transit connections:
Commuter Rail (Newburyport, Rockport)
MBTA bus (426, 429, 435, 436, 439, 441, 442, 441/442, 455, 456)

Overall, the station itself is pretty good. However, it just feels very spread apart, which is to be expected given the temporary nature and the context this exists in. But still, it’s just annoying. At least there’s also a copious amount of parking, which is neat!

Rating: 6.5/10

chelsea

Author: chelsea

i own this site and write.

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