Now admittedly, this setup is better than how it was before, when Braintree trains just bypassed the station (making the unnecessarily long distance to North Quincy even longer). They added a new platform for Braintree trains in late 1988, creating the setup still used today.
|The mezzanine - probably my favorite picture for this station, just because of my classmate's strange expression, and my English teacher's strange swagger.|
|I pity the fool who doesn't shop here.|
|Of course, there's that big fence in the way, but there's not much you can do about that.|
|A guy seems to have gotten into the picture,|
|Fairly generic for a Commuter Rail platform.|
Being served by only four buses, you'd expect the busway to be very simple. But actually, based on what I've seen, it's unnecessarily complicated. Are two lanes really necessary for only four buses? Or is one lane entirely meant for UMASS buses? Leave a comment if you're more familiar with the setup.
|An aerial view of the busway, from the big staircase. Seems there's only a lone shelter if you're catching a bus from the middle area.|
|I don't like running pictures together, but I wanted to include this one. Peekaboo!|
Ridership: This is definitely a student-heavy station. A lot of people use the shuttle bus from UMASS to get here. Also, being the station before the Ashmont and Braintree branches split (well, technically - I think they should do the same extra platform treatment on Savin Hill as well), there are probably a few people who do a quick transfer here.
Pros: I really liked the mezzanine. And that store had a really cool name.
Cons: First of all, the platforms are as annoying as they are ugly. Having a train coming on the wrong one must be really, really annoying. Second, Commuter Rail service here is pretty bad, with trains just bypassing the station most of the time. And finally, the bus situation is absolutely terrible. It's got a bad busway, plus it's only served by four buses.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The JFK Library is only a free bus ride away. I had a lot of fun visiting with my school. Even if you can't go, their website has some amazing interactive exhibits to check out.
Final Verdict: 4/10
There are a lot of bad things about this station, but the mezzanine gives it extra points. It's nice and airy, and it has that amazing store which I'm sure has fairly sub par food, but its name is fantastic. Everything else about the station, however, is terrible. The platforms are ugly and inefficient (though there's not much you can do about that), most Commuter Rail trains zoom right by, and bus service is terrible. The most frequent bus serving the station is the UMASS shuttle! But then again, I suppose that's why UMASS is in the station name.
Latest MBTA News: MBTA bus service is running on a Saturday schedule for President's day. Yes, I know I'm late. Insanely late. Like, this news doesn't even matter anymore late.