|This exterior is almost iconic.|
|It's a "secret" exit!|
|The 39's bus stop, taken about a month ago.|
|Pedal and Park!|
|Yes! I love this mezzanine so much!|
|The upper busway.|
|And the lower busway.|
|The entrance to the Commuter Rail platform.|
|OH NO! I'M GETTING BACK BAY FLASHBACKS!!!|
|A Commuter Rail train passing through the station.|
|Okay, back to the mezzanine.|
|It's staring at me with...those tail lights...|
Ridership: Very, very high. As the 9th busiest station on the system, Forest Hills gets an average of 15,150 riders per weekday! And as for the Commuter Rail station? Well...112 inbound riders per weekday. Okay, well, that's significantly less, and I doubt there are too many outbound riders, either. Hey, it's just the Needham Line, what do you expect?
Pros: This station is a huge hub! With an Orange Line station, a Commuter Rail station, and over 15 bus routes, there's a lot of stuff here. And they're all connected by an excellent mezzanine. Seriously, that's probably my favorite part of the station. In addition, the Pedal and Park is convenient, and although it's kinda bland, the Orange Line platform is standard for the Southwest Corridor.
Cons: The busways are really confusing, but individual schedules and signage try to alleviate that. Something more important is that Forest Hills does not have nearly enough parking. It gets over 15,000 people a day! A measly 200 spaces isn't gonna cut it. In addition, the Commuter Rail platform is pretty horrible. I mean, it's not as bad as Back Bay, but it's hard not to see the similarities between the two.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Surprisingly, the station is mostly surrounded by greenspace. Aside from a few businesses on Hyde Park Ave, the immediate surroundings of Forest Hills are mostly either houses or parkland. Well, I guess "Forest" is right in the station name.
Final Verdict: 8/10
Oh, how I wish I could convince myself to give this station a lower score. I mean, Forest Hills has so much wrong with it! Still, though, the MBTA does try to fix the busway problem, and hardly anyone uses the Commuter Rail station. That leaves the parking issue, which really is a major one, but there doesn't seem to be much room for more parking. I'm not sure if there's much that can be done about that. And come on, the mezzanine? Simply amazing.
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