But don't think that Lechmere is all bad: the best part is the ride to it. The Green Line is above ground at Lechmere, and it makes for one of the best views on the system. Leaving Lechmere, the tracks turn a little while ascending until the train is elevated next to Monsignor O'Brien Highway. Buildings give way to a fantastic view of the Zakim Bridge. The train dips back below ground after Science Park, but it makes for a great 45 seconds.
|The view from the train.|
The Lechmere busway, on the other hand, has no qualities. Half of it is in a dark, dingy tunnel, and the other half of it is outside with no shelter. No matter where you wait, it will still be the same temperature, so don't think the tunnel will protect you from that. Lechmere is only served by 4 MBTA buses (plus the EZ ride shuttle), though they all have decent schedules. The 80, 87, and 88 serve Somerville and Arlington, while the 69 serves East Cambridge.
|The clouds really enhance the dinginess.|
|We were waiting for the driver to get back from his smoke, so I took this picture from the train.|
Rating (1-10): 6
Ridership: People who live in East Cambridge and Somerville, since it's the closest station to those areas. Also, shoppers visiting the Cambridgeside Galleria.
Pros: The fare gates. I applaud the MBTA on shortening a long wait time. But the best part is the ride. If you're from out of town, the Lechmere ride is more than worth a look.
Cons: The station is just so... dated. Paint is chipping everywhere, the busway is a mess, the billboard frames are ugly and pointless... still, though, with the MBTA's budget problems and the West Medford extension just around the corner, a big renovation isn't necessary. Also, it's a bit annoying how only the E Line serves the station. Why is it only served by one line?
Nearby and Noteworthy: As I mentioned before, the Cambridgeside Galleria is a good mall. Also, though many people use Science Park to get to the Museum of Science (go figure), Lechmere is only a little farther from the museum, plus you get a great ride to boot.
Latest MBTA News: There are Orange Line shuttle buses this weekend from Sullivan Square to Oak Grove... you know the drill.