Tuesday, September 12, 2017

PVTA: Olver Transit Pavilion

Okay, what is it with naming unnecessarily fancy transit centers after John Olver? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he was a great congressman, but geez! First there was the FRTA's gigantic John Olver Transportation Center, and now we've got the PVTA's smaller (but no less fancy) John Olver Transit Pavilion in Westfield. Alright, then...

The building.
The Transit Pavilion is definitely a smaller affair than the huge FRTA terminal, but just look at that building! It really sticks out in Westfield Center, a place mostly with older brick buildings. Right outside the Pavilion structure, there's a bench, while the other side has a fare machine, bike locks, and a vending machine for bike parts. Wow!

Squeaky clean!
Geez Louise, here we go again. The inside of this thing is impeccable. It's very well-lit, modern, and clean, with lots of benches all around the outer wall. There are also vending machines, a fare machine, and a departure board. A wavy table along the middle of the room features outlets for charging devices.

Huh...alright.
The Pavilion also houses a strange little touch screen thing. It shows bus departures, whatever the heck "CHAMBER" is, and even the Yelp reviews for restaurants and businesses in Westfield. This seems very useful for Westfield's throngs of tourists consisting of approximately no one. There's also a really empty cork board with a few lone schedules in it and a space for retail that wasn't filled when I was here.

The bathroom!
Since this hub is so quiet, Westfield's bathrooms are squeaky-clean! Maybe now that college has started up at Westfield State University, they're far worse, but who knows? There's also a water fountain that additionally fills up water bottles. It had only saved 608 plastic bottles when I went there in July, but I'm sure now it's higher!

The boarding area.
The Transit Pavilion's boarding area isn't much, but it gets the job done. There are benches along the more northerly section, but once you go further down the line, they disappear. There's plenty of seating inside, though, so it doesn't matter all that much. The plaza is clean and modern, and some newly-planted trees and bushes look very nice.

Further down the platform.
PVTA Station: Olver Transit Pavilion

Ridership: Well, when I was here on a Saturday in July, it was practically empty - there were only three or four people in the terminal. Perhaps it gets busier during the school year when there are students from Westfield State University?

Pros: Just like the FRTA's Olver building, the Transit Pavilion is near-perfect. It has lots of amenities, including seating space, wastebaskets with recycling, outlets, bathrooms, vending machines, bike racks, bike vending machines, and weird touch screens!

Cons: ALSO like the FRTA's Olver building, the Transit Pavilion doesn't seem all that...necessary. I mean, even in this video from the first day, it still looks empty! And that was the grand opening!

Nearby and Noteworthy: Downtown Westfield is fine, I guess. There's nothing about it that seems all that interesting to me.

Final Verdict: 9/10
The Olver Transit Pavilion is in the exact same boat as the FRTA's Olver Transit Center. It's beautiful and fancy with many amenities provided, but it just seems like kind of a waste of $3.6 million. Westfield students had been concerned about not knowing when the bus was coming...couldn't transit arrival screens have sufficed? But oh well, what's here is here, and it's certainly a great terminal!

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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