Sunday, March 15, 2015

Revere Beach

Revere Beach is a really weird station. It has a lot of strange little oddities that really make it super unique. Also, it's the last station on the Blue Line to be reviewed on this blog, at least until Government Center opens! It's too bad, because the Blue Line has some of the best stations on the system (including the best, in terms of review score), though Suffolk Downs isn't one of those. I'm gonna miss you, Blue Line. But here's one last review before we part...

Looking at the platforms from Beach Street.
For one thing, Revere Beach has a very urban feel, which is kind of odd for the above-ground portion of the Blue Line. The platforms are squished in between a building and a wall, with the mezzanine crossing on top of them. Looking at the platform from the side, you can see the odd design in the shelters that looks pretty artsy - they have a few shapes cut out of them, as you can see above. And those shapes go down the whole length of the shelter.

On the platform.
Pretty much all of the platform is sheltered by either the mezzanine or those interesting shelters. Its colors are unique, too, from simple grays to shades of yellow and green. Revere Beach also has the same Blue Line history artwork running along its floor as Beachmont, adding more colors to the mix!

It may be emergency exit only, but lots of people use this exit, anyway.
The Beach Street exit is another weird aspect of this station. For one thing, it's supposedly emergency exit only, but people still use it. It also has a turnstile, but no one seems to use that, opting for the emergency door instead. Also, someone could easily get into the door and get onto the platform without paying, which is really annoying.

The station's main entrance.
After leaving onto Beach Street, I took a walk to Revere Beach, which required crossing two busy roads. On my way back, I figured I'd have to go in through the main entrance, so I headed back a little further down Beach Street. To get to the entrance, there's a nice pedestrian path, as well as a T logo on Beach Street so people know where the station is. Finally, a station that gets it right! The entrance itself is really modern-looking.

The shiny mezzanine.
The mezzanine is fantastic! It's really clean and spacious, and very modern. Everything seems to be mirrored, particularly the amazing ceiling. There are even some payphones here, as well as bus schedules for the three buses that serve this station.

Love the wooden doors!
From the mezzanine, I noticed a doorway leading to a third exit. The door opened up to another, mostly shiny room, though with a brick wall on one side. This room led to two wooden doors, after which both walls became brick. All of this ended up at a waiting room for a hospital! I was surprised, and felt a bit awkward there.

Oh, yeah, this entrance just screams "train station".
I decided to head out of the waiting room to see where the entrance actually ended up. And it turned out it was a building I walked right by when going back to the station from Revere Beach! It has no signage whatsoever, and looks like just a boring old building. Maybe the entrance is supposed to be exclusive for hospital patients? I don't know, but it's a lot easier for those going to Revere Beach than traveling all the way around to the main entrance.

The mezzanine, now in fare control.
I went back to the mezzanine, going through the fare gates. Now, usually the area past the fare gates doesn't deserve any special mention, but this one is awesome! It has more shiny ceilings and walls, a cool pattern on the floor, wastebaskets, and a big window looking over the station platform. It's rare to see this much stuff past the fare gates!

Even the staircase is cool!
Walking to the outbound platform, I found yet another oddity. The hallway turns left towards a staircase (which is cool anyway, thanks to some artwork and a curving glass window/ceiling), and there are Dunkin' Donuts signs at that turn. I assumed it was just advertising, but I looked over the signs and saw right into the kitchen of the Dunkin' Donuts next door! This station just gets cooler and cooler, doesn't it?

Next stop, Wonderland.
Station: Revere Beach

Ridership: Not bad, at least for the Blue Line. The station gets about 3,200 riders per weekday, and probably more during the summer. When it's not the summer, I assume most of those riders are either locals from the area or hospital workers.

Pros: For one thing, it's just a nice station - modern, clean, and accessible. But also, it has so many weird, unique aspects to it that make it one of the most interesting stations on the system.

Cons: Two major cons: firstly, the hospital entrance could really use some signage on the outside, as it's much closer to the beach than the main entrance. Also, why would you even use this station to get to the beach when Wonderland has the pedestrian bridge over Ocean Ave? Seriously, Wonderland is so much more accessible for beachgoers than Revere Beach is (which is ironic, considering the latter's name).

Nearby and Noteworthy: I'm not the biggest Revere Beach fan (the beach itself, not the station), but being able to ride the subway up to the beach is such a great thing to be able to do. Wonderland is better for getting to the beach, though.

Final Verdict: 9/10
This high score goes against my better judgement. However, although it has a few issues, just look at how unique this station is! It has so many weird oddities that really set it apart from other Blue Line stations, and other MBTA stations in general. If you're into strange, unique stations, Revere Beach is absolutely worth a visit.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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