|Well, isn't that a nice entrance? Too bad it doesn't warn you about the horrors inside.|
|A pretty awkward angle of the second entrance, which is evidently dominated by Santander ads.|
|The beautiful entrance area.|
|The hallway between the entrances.|
|An indoor Pedal and Park! Woah!|
|The forlorn entrance to the parking garage.|
|The waiting area.|
|Look how smoggy it is down here on tracks 1-3!|
|A bench with some historical information on it.|
|I love this!|
|Two shots of a truck that came through the station.|
|The most disgusting staircase you will ever climb. Note that the flash was on.|
|The above-ground bit of the platform.|
|I wouldn't recommend sitting on this bench.|
|Look how smoggy it is!|
|A better picture of the platform.|
|Inside the elevator.|
|A train heading toward South Station.|
|Cool, an Amtrak!|
|The back of the Amtrak train,|
|You can see the Orange Line trains going by from this platform, too.|
|Looking down the mezzanine at the Orange Line entrances.|
|The exit-only hallway to Clarendon Street and Columbus Ave.|
|A train on the platform.|
|Enter...if you dare.|
|This was the first thing I saw in the platform. Great first impression...|
|Heading toward the light.|
|Well, at least it's brighter over here.|
|The boarding area.|
|The bowels of the tunnel.|
|There was some sort of weird liquid there...|
|The staircase that led to that above door. I believe it's exit only.|
|This wall is in dire need of some repainting.|
|That is a really disgusting roof.|
|This sign has seen a bit of vandalism over the years.|
|No idea what that thing hanging down is...|
|Pshh, down here? How many people do you think follow that rule?|
|Some random wire hanging down.|
|A train! Civilization!|
|The back of the train.|
|Okay, seriously, how the heck do you get all this stuff into the ceiling?|
Ridership: This is the fifth busiest subway station on the system, with 18,100 riders per day using the Orange Line platform. As for the Commuter Rail, the Blue Book only gives inbound data, so all I can say is that 126 people per day go to South Station from here. (That much? Really?) However, there were quite a lot of commuters when we were here, and that was on a Saturday. Finally, Amtrak gets 540,770 riders per year here, or about 1,482 riders per day.
Pros: Okay, well, it's definitely a well-located station. While South Station serves downtown and the financial district, Back Bay is here to serve the Back Bay (duh) and Copley Square. And I have to say, I like a lot of it. The entrances and mezzanine are great, and the Orange Line platforms aren't bad. In addition, in terms of aesthetics, Tracks 1-3 are all right. A little dark (okay, a lot dark), but I loved the train art on the wall and the historical images.
Cons: But of course, this station has really, really bad air quality. Like, that's dangerous! This is a dangerous station! And don't even get me started on Tracks 5 and 7. You can see in the photos above that this is not a nice place to wait for the train. And they put the waiting area at the very end of the platform, just to make people go further into the smog-infested station!
Nearby and Noteworthy: Copley Square is a stone's throw away from here, with lots of stuff to do. Also, if you head the other way down Dartmouth Street, you come across a place called Brownstone. I came here for brunch once, and it was really good. And they had 60's music playing on the radio, just to make the meal even better!
Final Verdict: 3/10
If we were to take the air quality issues and Tracks 5 and 7 out of the picture, this station would probably nab a 7. But alas, both of the problems above exist. The fact that this station is legitimately dangerous for people with lung conditions is just mind-boggling to me. The ventilation here needs to be fixed! And then Tracks 5 and 7 are just a total mess. I almost wonder if it's not worth renovating them, because they've reached the point of no return. That platform was quite fun to explore, though, I'll give it that. Bring a flashlight!
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
Governor Charlie Baker says that change is required in "virtually all aspects of the MBTA." Read more here.