|Only 10 seconds left to cross! Gotta take the picture quickly.|
|Ah, that's better.|
|OH NO, IT'S BACK!|
|Just...ignore that pink thing on the left side of the picture.|
|You've gotta be kidding me...|
|Down on the platform.|
Heading from the mezzanine to the platform, there's a set of stairs, an elevator, and an upwards escalator, as usual. Southwest Corridor stations usually have an art installation above the platform staircase, and Mass Ave is no exception. Here, there are three cylinder...things. I mean, they look great, and that's what matters, right?
|Boy, this looks familiar...|
Mass Ave's platform is what you would expect from any above-ground Southwest Corridor station. It's a simple, mostly sheltered center platform, with those white curvy things connecting the roof to the walls. It has wastebaskets and benches, and...yeah. You know the drill.
|No ads on this exit! Mwahaha.|
On the other side of the platform is an exit-only turnstile that leads to a pedestrian overpass, which in turn leads to Gainsborough and Camden Streets. It really isn't much, just a set of stairs out of the station leading to a turnstile and a door. Of course, the disadvantage here is that you can't enter the station this way, meaning passengers from the south have to walk all the way up to the main entrance to get in.
|A train coming in.|
Station: Massachusetts Avenue
Ridership: This station has the fourth-highest ridership on the Southwest Corridor, and the highest for a non-major station. Of course, Mass Ave is a bit of an oddity in that it's slotted right between the two hubs of Ruggles and Back Bay. Considering that, it makes the station seem all the more busy.
Pros: There's actually quite a lot to like about this station. For one thing, it has a lot of entrances leading in all different directions, and they all look pretty good. And I know I made fun of all the ads, but I know it's a good source of income for the MBTA. Besides that, the existence of an underpass beneath Mass Ave is great, and the station's mezzanine is fantastic.
Cons: The platform is standard for the Southwest Corridor, which isn't bad, but it's certainly a bit boring. Other than that, I wish the staircase on the south side of the platform wasn't exit-only, but at least it's there, I suppose.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Well, mainly, this station can be used as an alternative to Symphony Hall. Since Mass Ave is so close to Symphony Station, this one can be used if you just don't feel like dealing with the E. So...basically most of the time, since as we all know, the E isn't the best.
Final Verdict: 9/10
I think this might be the best station on the Southwest Corridor. It's not my favorite station (that honor goes to Forest Hills), but I think it's the most consistently good. For unlike Forest Hills, which has some big problems despite its amazingness, Mass Ave has almost nothing wrong with it. My only main problem is really that exit to the footbridge. What if the MBTA replaced the exit door with a single fare gate? That would mean people would be able to enter that way, saving them a fairly long extra walk.
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