Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Assembly

Oh yeahhhhh...this station exists! Ever since my insanely excited post from when Assembly first opened, this place has just disappeared from my mindset. I dunno...I don't find Assembly Row particularly interesting, and the station never gets as many riders as the other ones on the Orange Line. But still, with the south entrance finally open, I can properly review this thing once and for all! Welcome to the newest station on the MBTA.

The platform.
Assembly's platform is like any other station on the northern Orange Line, except more modern. The concrete is brighter, and some nice metal is used for the ceiling. The station has numerous benches, including a few in those classic pointless Orange Line bench shelters. Good to know they still decided to include those! Finally, wastebaskets, help points, and historical information about the area are dotted around the platform.

Looking down towards the northern entrance.
It's also worth noting that the platform has a little bus shelter for Customer Service Agents - two, to be exact. Now, what's the point of a CSA, exactly? To help out customers, of course. The problem with having them at Assembly is that it doesn't get that many customers! So you basically have two CSAs just hanging out in their shelter talking to each other. What an excellent use of resources.

Heading up to the main entrance.
Going towards the main entrance to the north, we have another typical Orange Line setup. Yes, it's that classic elevator-stairs-escalator exit! Still, I have nothing to complain about - it works pretty well, and this one looks way better than other Orange Line stations because of the glass and generally nicer-looking materials used.

Fancy fare gates!
Of course, we can't talk about Assembly's mezzanine without bringing up the awesome new fare gates! Although this isn't the only place on the system where they exist anymore (Government Center uses them, too), Assembly is where they originally came into service. As for the rest of the mezzanine, it's pretty small, but it's well-designed for handling lots of people.

I had to do it, I couldn't resist!
However, the mezzanine also features bathrooms! I simply had to check one of them out, and I was fearing the worst. However, it ended up being pretty nice. They're only one stall each, but they (the men's room, at least) were pretty clean overall. Great job, Assembly!

The entrance.
From the mezzanine, a footbridge leads over one of the Orange Line tracks, and then we've got another classic Orange Line setup to the ground - elevator, stairs, escalator. The main entrance is pretty nice and modern, with lots of glass. Of course, the area to which it leads hasn't really developed yet, so you have to walk through a bunch of construction to actually get to Assembly Row.

This is incredibly bleak.
The parking at Assembly is a little dubious. There's no mention of anything on the MBTA website, but that's because it doesn't actually own any lots here. However, Assembly Row does have a parking lot for commuters. It's not too big, but it's an alternative to Wellington or Sullivan if those places are full. The fee is $6.00 per day, just like Assembly's neighboring stations.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the station...
With the completion of the Partners Healthcare building in Assembly Square, the other entrance to the station is now open! It's...uh...basically the main entrance, except smaller. Oh well, it still provides an easier way for people working at Partners to get onto the train. This was the main reason I was waiting to review this place, but it, uh, didn't seem to be too worth it. Oh well.

Two trains at the station.
Station: Assembly

Ridership: According to this document, Assembly got 1,864 riders per day in 2015 - that makes it one of the least-used stations on the system. Now, I understand that it's new and maybe people aren't using it too much, so let's check out its predicted ridership: 5,000 people per day by 2030. Welllllllllllll...that puts it at around a Community College level. That's not really saying much.

Pros: For an Orange Line station, Assembly is definitely pretty in the aesthetics department. Serving a rapidly developing neighborhood, it has a simple, straightforward design that allows for the transport of lots of people...not that it'll ever have to.

Cons: Yeah, Assembly isn't the best for ridership...but it certainly has helped the development of the surrounding area. Also, I wish the station had a bit more character to make it stand out, but that's ultimately not too important, and the historical information does the job just fine.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Assemblyyyyyyyyyy Rowwwwwwwwww...yeah, okay, I don't like it as much as other people do. I'm sorry, but I find high-end clothing stores boring!

Final Verdict: 8/10
Even though I continue to forget this station exists ("Alright, next stop Wellington! Oh wait..."), it has to be said that Assembly is a pretty good one. It's clean, straightforward, and modern, and it's certainly a great way for all you shoppers out there to get to Assembly Row. That said, I don't think I'll be using it any time soon...

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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