Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Newtonville

Oh no, not a Worcester Line I-90 station! I already inhaled millions of fumes at Auburndale, now I have to review another one? Well, at the very least, Newtonville is slightly better than Auburndale. Slightly. That really isn't saying much at all.

Ughhhhhhhhhh.
Like Auburndale, Newtonville is right next to the wide Mass Turnpike. It offers two entrances at overpasses on either side of the platform: Walnut Street and Harvard Street. They're both pretty much the same, with a sign, schedule, and a few newspaper boxes on the Walnut Street side. For the record, Newtonville apparently has 53 parking spaces, but I can't for the life of me find them on Google Maps.

The Walnut Street entrance.
Okay, one perk that Newtonville has over Auburndale is that the stairs aren't insanely scary. With the latter station, you can look right down as you're traversing the staircase and see the ground way below. At least Newtonville's stairs are wooden, so you can't actually see through them. This also means that you don't have to see the rusting going on below them! Yay...

On the platform.
Newtonville has a typical shelter for an I-90 station, meaning it's awful. It's all concrete and wooden, with litter everywhere despite lots of wastebaskets being provided. The benches that stick out of the wall of the shelter are terrible, although Newtonville does provide one actual bench - another step up from Auburndale.

Looking down the platform.
The whole rest of the platform is bare. I mean, there's not even any random highway trash in sight from this station! Yes, I suppose the bags of salt thrown around in certain places are a bit weird, but it's somewhat clean overall. Just try to ignore the constant sound of thousands of cars hurdling past...

The remains of an old platform.
Now, one huge problem with Newtonville (and the other I-90 stations) is that it only has one platform. That makes this whole section of the line incredibly hard to schedule. But the worst part is that you can actually see the remains of the old second platform at Newtonville! If all the I-90 stations had two platforms, the MBTA could get a lot more flexibility when scheduling Worcester Line trains.

A train leaving around the curve.
Station: Newtonville

Ridership: This is the the station with the second-worst ridership on the Worcester Line, just ahead of West Newton (another I-90 stop). However, although Newtonville only gets 293 inbound riders per weekday, perhaps it gets outbound ridership, too. It has a few bus connections, after all, and it's still pretty urban and close to Boston.

Pros: Advantages over Auburndale: the stairs aren't scary and there's one nice bench. That is all.

Cons: Everything else that was wrong with Auburndale. Loud cars! Decrepit shelter! Not accessible! Only one platform! Strange litter everywhere (though to a lesser extent than Auburndale)! The list goes on and on! Does parking here even exist? Who knows?!

Nearby and Noteworthy: There's a lovely downtown here with small businesses housed in old-looking buildings. Also, this station is right near that Star Market through which I-90 runs, which is interesting. I mean, I'm sure it's just a generic supermarket, but the highway running under it is kinda cool!

Final Verdict: 2/10
Look! One point better than Auburndale! A 2/10? That's almost a 3/10! Visit Newtonville, guys, it's really worth it. Way better than Auburndale, lemme tell you. Honestly, though, the I-90 stations are so good that you should just visit them all! Especially if you like, um, litter. Or...cars. Or something.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

6 comments:

  1. You should post a transit tale about our conductor out there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe if we can catch him again for a longer time...

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  2. The 53 parking spaces are just special 12(?) hour meters in the parking lot in between Austin St and Highland Ave.

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    Replies
    1. What? Oh come on, that doesn't count! THE MBTA WEBSITE IS TRYING TO TRICK US!

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  3. The 53 spots are, I believe, the spots along Washington St. between Walnut & Harvard. Some are 12 hour I believe. Supermarket sued land taking when the Pike was built and got the platform built. This was a major station with baggage service and long-distance trains before the Pike was built, as Walnut St was Route 128 until about 1952. Was an Amtrak stop also in the mid-70s. Municipal parking lot is also available, but is going to be developed which will be a disaster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Star Market sued and got platform for the supermarket built, not train platform.

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