Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dudley

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was built to hold the Minotaur, a half man, half bull creature. The Labyrinth was so complicated and confusing that even the builder barely escaped after finishing it. Frankly, though, I think they could've just as easily trapped the Minotaur in Dudley Station.

Yes, this bus hub is pretty darn big. So big, in fact, that it's extremely hard to find anything there! It has five "platforms" in two separate buildings with 20 berths in total! It's hard to make 20 berths easy to navigate, but luckily there are "Dudley Station Bus Finders" infrequently spaced around the station. They don't tell you where you are, and are even outdated. Fantastic.

Not a great photo, but you can see how complicated it is.
But I can't go ranting on about how annoyingly complicated this place is, as there are some good things about it. For one thing, there are a lot of buses serving Dudley. There are 18 in total, but three of them have very limited service. Five of the routes are Key Bus Routes, plus there are the two Silver Line routes serving the station. Servicewise, this station is fantastic. And there are bus countdown clocks here, but I didn't check to see if they worked or not.

The interior of one of the buildings.
Also, the station architecture is fantastic. As you may or may not know, the Orange Line used to have an elevated station here on its old alignment. When building the bus station, they actually used elements from the original, making for a very cool, old-fashioned look. The buildings definitely provide adequate shelter from the elements, too. I noticed a would-be convenient building with CharlieCard machines in it, but the door was padlocked. I know it's not the nicest area, but people have to refill their cards...

One of the buildings. 
Digital clocks like you would see in the subway are littered around the station as well, though I don't see much use for them. There are also random trash bins scattered about, but the station isn't very clean. I also want to point out that it was the middle of the day and there were a million lights on in the station. As you can see in the picture below, the station is both open and has a glass ceiling (one of them has a glass ceiling, the other has windows up near the roof). The lights look nice, but they're completely useless during the day. Save some energy, MBTA.

The inside of one of the buildings.
Station: Dudley

Ridership: It can be pretty busy here, even if it's not a "legit" station. After all, five Key Bus Routes converge here, as well as a plethora of other routes. Plus there's the Silver Line, which sort of acts as a feeder to downtown from here.

Pros: This is a huge bus hub, and most of the buses here have pretty good schedules. I also really like the architecture; the fact that one of the buildings uses elements from the original elevated station is a nice touch.

Cons: This station is too darn confusing! There are a million berths, there are two buildings, and the "station finders" are ridiculous. If they could at least update the maps to be relevant today (the ones up now are from 2007, and are "good until superseded" - yeah, right) and show where the viewer is, it would be great! The station would still be a mess, but at least it would make navigation a little easier.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Frankly, I don't like being in the neighborhood around Dudley. I'm sure there's some very nice stuff around there, but I wouldn't know.

Final Verdict: 6/10
This station was originally going to get a much lower score, but I realized that there are some good qualities to it. Namely, there are a lot of buses that serve this station, and its architecture is really nice. Of course, it's still really complicated, and the maps are out of date and overly confusing. It all evens out to slightly worse than average.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
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1 comment:

  1. Considering the crimes committed in the station, the lighting is needed, waste of money or not. The station is over 113 years old, considering its age and the massive renovation that it underwent 27 years ago it is holding up well especially since it wasn't built to be a through station- it's supposed to be a terminal.

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