Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fields Corner

For the most part, Red Line stations are aesthetically meh. The line doesn't have that many awful-looking stations, but there aren't many amazing ones, either. Enter Fields Corner, which looks fantastic after its renovation in 2008. Plus, it's elevated! Huzzah!

The eastern end of the station's busway.
The station's main (more or less) entrance is from the busway. Now, I believe I've mentioned before how weird and complicated the bus procedure here is. Buses have to go onto a road that rises up next to the station, then turn around onto the busway proper on the other side of the tracks. I don't know why it's done like this, since it seems like it could be so much simpler.

And the other end.
The busway itself is split into two parts. Routes that serve Dorchester Ave (the 18, 201, 202, and 210) board on the eastern end, while routes that serve Geneva Ave (the 15, 17, and 19) board on the western end. There's a bit of shelter, as well as benches and some historical images and information on the walls. A nice path gives connections to Dorchester and Geneva Aves.

The smaller entrance to Fields Corner.
There's a second entrance, too, a smaller one on Charles Street. It's in a much more residential area, and is accessed by a short flight of stairs. Near the entrance is some greenery that brightens the place up a bit. Not that it really needed brightening, but it's still a great addition.

The mezzanine, from within fare control.
I love this station's mezzanine. For one thing, the lighting - there are normal white lights, but also these sleek red ones. There are also red stripes on the walls in some places, and the whole thing is just so awesome! The mezzanine has lots of fare gates and machines, so this station doesn't have to worry about clogging up (not that it gets much ridership). There are even more historical plaques in here, and natural light gets in, too.

The platform.
As for the platform, it gets quite a lot of natural light, being above ground and all. I love how the walls are made of glass so you can look out, and the ceilings provide adequate shelter. My only problem with the platform was the fact that I found a map there that was so scuffed up it could barely be read (and there might've been more). First of all, it was one of the new maps, so I have to question how it got dirty so quickly. Also, it shouldn't be that hard to replace a simple map! Maybe nobody's mentioned it before...until now. Mwahaha.

A train makes its way around the corner before the station.
Station: Fields Corner

Ridership: Not great - about 5,300 people board here every weekday. That can probably be attributed to the fact that the station is in a mostly residential area, and would primarily be used by locals.

Pros: This station looks great all around. There isn't a single part of this station aesthetically that I don't like. And it's good in terms of functionality, too - like how the mezzanine has a bunch of fare gates, or how the platform provides pretty good shelter.

Cons: There was that smudged map, but that's more of a minor quibble. My real problem with this station is the bus situation. Why do they go on that road right up to the station before going back down again, only to loop around back to the busway proper? There must be a simpler way to do this.

Nearby and Noteworthy: There are a few businesses around the station, including a shopping plaza to the south of it. The houses are mostly concentrated to the north and west.

Final Verdict: 8/10
I think this is one of the best-looking stations on the Red Line. Also, it's elevated, which sweetens the deal. Really, it's just the busway system I don't like - the route the vehicles take feels way too circuitous. What if the busway was turned into a two-way street, so buses could drop their passengers off, loop around without anyone on board, and then come back to pick people up? But the two-way thing would probably be hard to do, wouldn't it? Okay, so maybe the current way is the simplest. Still, though, Fields Corner is a great station regardless.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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