I said in my post about Lowell that the station was pretty depressing. It was very functional and all, but just didn’t feel…right. Honestly, though, Lowell doesn’t even come close to how foreboding Lynn is. Really, this place is a dump.
|The tall, tall entrance.|
The main entrance is very tall and imposing. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because it definitely lets people know that there’s a train station here. It leads out to the North Shore Community College campus on Broad Street, as well as the waterfront.
|And the other entrance.|
The second entrance is closer to Central Square. It gets its own pseudo-plaza that goes to both sides of the station. When I say pseudo-plaza, I mean a bit of pavement that has nothing of note on it. Inside, there’s a mosaic mezzanine that tried to look nice but sort of failed. A staircase leads up to the platform.
|The main busway.|
The bus situation at Lynn is pretty confusing. The station is a huge hub for sure, with many 400-series buses going all over the place. But they also go all over the place in downtown Lynn, and maps always make it seem more confusing than it is. Case in point…
|Makes perfect sense!|
As you can see in the “Downtown Lynn Area Bus Finder” above, finding a bus in Lynn is extremely easy! Just find one of the stops on the map – ignoring the two that are off it – and look at the lengthy list of bus routes that corresponds to each one. Also, make sure you do it in September 2003, since that’s when the map is valid. Seriously, just go to the main busway and grab the bus from there!
|The dinginess of this area isn’t captured at all.|
The busway leads to the main entrance. Your first sight upon entering is a whole bunch of rusty green staircases. It’s sort of reminiscent of what the Central Artery used to look like before the Big Dig. The staircases here lead to different floors of the parking garage. If five floors is too much of a climb, you can just take the smelly elevators up. The garage actually has more spaces than the station does ridership, so it’s literally more than enough.
|The entrance to the platform.|
Further past the green stairs is the entrance to the platform. Again, the mosaic tiles try to make the area look nice, but ultimately fail. Mosaics cannot compete with the rusting ceiling, water damage, and dark, grim atmosphere of the entrance.
|The platform, taken from my personal helicopter. Or the top of the parking garage.|
The platform gets some respect from me because it’s elevated, which is fantastic. But other than that, it’s not the best. There’s a thin shelter that runs along it that doesn’t seem like it would be much use against the elements. Indeed, it’s only there for about half the platform. The view is nice, at least.
|A train from down below.|
Ridership: Surprisingly low – this station only gets 662 inbound riders per weekday (keep in mind that the parking garage has three hundred more spaces than that). I daresay the busway gets more ridership! Indeed, some of those Lynn buses can be pretty popular on weekdays.
Pros: It’s right smack in the center of Lynn, and a huge bus hub. The parking garage is huge, and the station’s elevated. It makes an attempt to look nice, but…
Cons: It doesn’t. This is a dingy, dumpy station. I suppose that can be said for its surroundings, too (sorry, Lynn), though Fields Corner isn’t the best neighborhood either, but I felt safe there. Is it because of its modern, well-kept station? Could be.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Lynn. Perhaps there’s a hidden gem somewhere, but the downtown area has never been appealing to me.
Final Verdict: 5/10
As a Commuter Rail station, it’s functional. It’s nice that it’s fully accessible, with a high-level platform. The garage is massive, there are lots of bus connections, and the station is elevated right in downtown Lynn. In fact, there are probably more good things about Lynn Station than bad. But it has such a foreboding feel – I didn’t really feel safe exploring the station. Imagine what the coveted Blue Line extension out here would do for the city – if they ever built it.