|Oh, look at that beautiful Boston City Hall! That glass station entrance...pshhhh.|
|Inside the big glass structure!|
|The main attraction!|
|The Green Line platform!|
|A poster about the retail space.|
|Along the track.|
|Possibly the coolest part of the whole station.|
|A train heading to North Station.|
|The Blue Line platform!|
|Further down the platform.|
|A train bursting into the station.|
Ridership: In 2013, before the station closed, Government Center was actually the least-used transfer point on the system. Still, 10,828 riders per day is not a low number, and the station still ranked 17th on the system. To be honest, it wasn't that crowded today, and the ridership consisted of either people making transfers or transit fans taking photos. Still, once more people realize the place is open, I'm sure ridership will increase.
Pros: This. Place. Looks. Great. There's no other way to put it, it looks amazing. From the huge glass structure outside to the spacious mezzanine to the bright Green Line platform to the shiny Blue Line platform, they really did an awesome job with the aesthetics here. Not only that, but this station is fantastic functionally. The huge amount of fare gates at the entrance allows for many people to enter at the same time, and the transfer between the Green and Blue Lines is definitely one of the simplest and easiest on the system. The fact that the station is accessible now is of course a huge plus, and oh - the Green Line track sprayers! They are the most amazing thing I have ever seen. And heard. Because there's silence because the trains don't screech!!!!!
Cons: There are only two problems I have with the new station. The first is that there's no retail yet, but that should be taken care of soon. Hopefully a food or convenience store will take the spot, since that would be very convenient while waiting for the train. My other issue is the lack of benches. Maybe I'm lazy, but it seems like it's customary to include a good amount of seating space in train stations. The worst part is that there's plenty of room on the massive platforms, and yet it seems like they haven't really taken advantage of that.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I have to say, Government Center is probably on the least interesting corner of the downtown square. Boston City Hall is an eyesore, and generally its plaza is the most boring place ever. Okay, so the Big Apple Circus is there now, but other than that, the area isn't noteworthy at all.
Final Verdict: 9/10
I have to say, I was absolutely blown away by the new station. There are the big things, like the glass headhouse, the big mezzanine, and the bright platforms, but then there are also little details that I really love: the potted plants in the mezzanine, the LED lights that switch from green to blue, and - of course - the Green Line track sprayers. And the place is accessible now! Since I'm not that upset about the lack of retail space, the only thing keeping this station from a 10 is the fact that there are so few benches. Perhaps the MBTA has a reason for omitting them from the platforms, but I think there should definitely be more than what they have now. Other than that, though, this is a really, really great station. Kudos for building something wonderful, MBTA!
UPDATE: In my rush to get this post out on opening day, I forgot to mention that the B terminates at Park Street now. One the one hand, this makes it harder for passengers on that branch to get to Government Center, but on the other hand, it does prevent the bottleneck between it and Park Street. It's neither a pro nor a con, but I figured I ought to mention it.
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