Friday, July 1, 2016

Dedham Corporate Center

I feel like being stuck at any Commuter Rail station for an hour will make you dislike it. This was unfortunately the case with Dedham Corporate Center, and I was in a pretty bad mood during my long wait here. Um...I'll try to be objective here, okay?

Or maybe this station is actually awful and I was right all along!
I came into the station from Rustcraft Road, which is where the Dedham Local Bus runs (no signage, for the record). There's a small kiss-and-ride drop-off area here, and it was built in 2014. It's just a stretch of road with a sidewalk - no benches, no wastebaskets, nothing. Also strange is the fact that you have to walk a ways back to get to this odd chain link fence entrance to actually get into the station.

The station's grand main entrance.
Meanwhile, the main entrance of the station is on the other side, and it leads into the parking lot. Dedham Corporate Center is primarily meant for park-and-ride trips, and thus it has a big lot with 497 spaces. The station is in very close proximity to Exit 14 off of I-95, so that helps it a lot in terms of convenience for drivers.

Looking down the platform.
As expected, much of the platforms are bare, with only a few wastebaskets and benches on either side. I'll talk about the shelter on the inbound side in a minute, but can I just say how ugly this station is? I mean, the chain link fences make you feel, um, fenced-in, while telephone wires string every which way! It certainly doesn't have the tranquility that its next store neighbor stations have.

The shelter and other attractions.
The inbound platform has a surprising amount of amenities near the parking lot. Aside from the generic boring shelter riddled with bird poop, there's another bench, a bike rack, a wastebasket, and even some newspaper boxes. In fact, why didn't I think to take something from one of them to have reading material during my wait? Shoot...

The station mini-highs.
Okay, I will say that the station's mini-high platforms are pretty nice. They're both wooden, and they each have a single bench on them. The bench on the inbound side is different from the one on the outbound side, which is a bit weird, but as long as I have a place to sit, I'm happy. Even if I have to sit there for an hour...

The train was going the wrong way!
Station: Dedham Corporate Center

Ridership: Surprisingly, this is the 5th busiest station on the Franklin Line. It certainly didn't seem that busy when I was here, with most people just using it to get from one side of the tracks to the other. I'm not sure where the station's 806 average weekday riders come from, but, uh, that's how many people use this place. Aside from people driving into the station's parking lot to go into the city, I'll bet this station gets its fair share of reverse commuters due to a few nearby office parks.

Pros: This station is accessible, which gives it the edge over both of its neighbors, Endicott and Islington. Also, this station offers lots of parking for both cars and bikes, although only 25% of the automobile lot gets occupied on weekdays.

Cons: Oh man, it's just such an ugly station! I really hate the chain link fences everywhere, and they're not even necessary! All they do is inconvenience people trying to get from one side of the tracks to the other (which apparently a lot of people do). Also, the shelter on the inbound side really needs to be cleaned up; there is way too much bird feces on that bench.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Aside from Legacy Place, to which this station is surprisingly close, a Cummins plant is right next to the station. What is the Cummins plant, you ask? Take a look:

A RIPTA bus, a Longwood shuttle, and a Peter Pan bus walked into a bar...
You'll always find a few interesting buses here, so it's definitely worth a look if you're into transit. I mean, a RIPTA bus in Dedham? What the heck?

Final Verdict: 6/10
If only Dedham Corporate Center wasn't accessible so I could give it a proper low score. However, it is accessible, so I have to raise its verdict a bit. Yeah, I'm really not a fan of this one. Maybe it's because I was stuck here for an hour, but I'm not the only one who thinks the place is ugly, am I?

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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