Thursday, April 10, 2014

Aquarium

Whenever I ask one of my friends if they've ever taken the Blue Line, 99% of the time they say, "Oh, yeah, I think I took that to the aquarium once." But although I've taken the Blue Line many times, the lack of bus connections at Aquarium means I use the station very rarely. But when we went to the aquarium with friends from out of town, I got the chance to go home via the train (my mother was driving, but who wants to drive?).

I've always thought the station entrance is fairly far from the Aquarium, and it kind of is. That's not to say that a three minute walk is very long, but there's no direct entrance into the aquarium. Consider Prudential Station, which although everything else about it is horrible, does boast a direct connection to the Prudential Center. But Aquarium is so much better than Prudential, and not just because it doesn't have a bunch of random pipes on the ceiling.

The entrance closest to the actual aquarium.
The first entrance, right near the aquarium itself, is a simple staircase heading underground. There's also an elevator here (there's one at every entrance, actually) that's glass so you can see...dirt, mostly. There are two other entrances further inland: one of them is like the first one, but a bit larger, and the other one is hiding in the entrance of a building (it has signage, but it took me a little while to notice it).

It's a bit more decked out than the other one, for sure.
The two inland entrances feed into a nice mezzanine area. It's not full of glass like the entrances, but it's mostly white, with a neat floor pattern. There is a random customer service desk that seems to serve no purpose, but the mezzanine was pretty great. And once you get past the fare gates there's a fantastic symmetry. There's a large window overlooking the platform, then stairs, escalators (one-way, unfortunately), and elevators leading to either side. But they're perfectly symmetrical, and I love that!

The very quiet mezzanine.
The platform itself is also great. The ceiling is designed so that it looks like a wave, and there are interesting designs lining the walls. The entrance towards the actual aquarium is on the other side, but I didn't look at it. Also cool is the fact that the walkway to get in stretches a little further than the platform itself, so you can get a view of trains coming through the tunnel. When I visited, the floor was really wet (as well as the tracks, apparently), but that's just because it was really wet outside. Overall, as the last station before crossing the harbor, it's really nice!

You gotta love that ceiling. Sorry there weren't any train pictures in this one - all of my attempts were really blurry.
Station: Aquarium

Ridership: Although all of my friends seem to have used it at some point or another, the overall ridership for the station isn't too great. Only about 4500 people use the station on a typical weekday, according to the MBTA Blue Book. Perhaps it's because of its proximity to the next station, State? It's only a fifth of a mile away, after all. Nonetheless, I'm sure most of the people who use this station - yes, you guessed it - head for the aquarium.

Pros: Aesthetically, this station is top-notch. Everything from the simple but effective entrances to the perfect symmetry of the platform entrances (and the platform itself) to that amazing ceiling look amazing.

Cons: It's too bad that the station remains somewhat far from the aquarium, at least for tourists who don't know where to go. Also, the one-way escalators are irksome, but it's not too bad. Finally, the only bus connection is the 4, which runs weekdays-only.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Take a guess.

Final Verdict: 8/10
I love the look and feel of this station so much. But think of how much more convenient it would be if there was an underground walkway leading right to the aquarium. It wouldn't be that long of a tunnel, and it could just deposit people outside in front. (although think about how cool it would be if it went right in!) And the escalator thing is a bit annoying, too. And bus connections are slim. But overall, fantastic station!

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
The MBTA will be closing a few stations and rerouting some bus routes for the Boston Marathon. Click here for more information.

2 comments:

  1. That mezzanine is quiet because most people use the other one near the waterfront. You used the one near Quincy Market.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That mezzanine is quiet because most people use the other one near the waterfront. You used the one near Quincy Market.

    ReplyDelete

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