A small platform with almost nothing but a single shelter and a few benches underneath. A parking lot with 215 spaces, as well as a few bike racks. A crumbling mini-high platform, with nothing but a wastebasket on top, that occupies so much of the platform that wheelchairs have to go through the parking lot in order to access the ramp. And that’s Canton Center.
Station: Canton Center
Ridership: Just 469 inbound passengers per weekday, which makes it the least-used station on the Stoughton Line…since Stoughton is the only other station. But besides TF Green Airport and Wickford Junction (which get too little service to have high ridership) and Hyde Park (which is too close to the city for many to justify paying the Zone 1 fare), this is also the least-used station on the Providence Line!
Pros: Parking’s 4 bucks on weekdays and 2 on weekends. So, the standard amount. Bike racks, those are nice. It’s accessible, always a plus. There’s a shelter with benches under it that’s pretty close to the mini-high. And the station has a flag-down bus connection to the MBTA 716.
Cons: There’s basically nothing to it! The mini-high has nothing but a wastebasket on it, wreaking havoc for the people who board here during off-peak times. All…25 of them. Yeah, you know what, that makes sense that this station is only used by morning commuters who don’t want to pack onto overcrowded Providence trains. Because Canton Junction is just 0.7 miles away, and that gets far more frequent service and, believe it or not, far higher ridership too! But hey, at least trains don’t block the crossing when they’re stopped here. Oh wait, that’s because the station has the ridiculous arrangement where they have to inch forward, STOP to let the gates come down, and then proceed. I don’t know which level-crossing-near-station arrangement is worse!
Nearby and Noteworthy: Canton Center is basically just one street, but it seems pleasant enough – a few restaurants and cafes, but nothing much else that makes it worth coming here. In the opposite direction, though, is the Museum of American Bird Art, which comes complete with lovely hiking trails around it. It’s a ten-minute walk from the station (or 17 minutes from Canton Junction…).
Final Verdict: 2/10
Yeah, you know what, I did phone this one in. Not like the station’s trying very hard! I feel a deep sense of malice towards this stop, not because of its awful mini-high or its stupid level crossing situation, but because it’s so close to Canton Junction. I get that a decent amount of people commute from here, but I can’t stop the voice in my head from screaming “Just go to Canton Junction! It gets better service! Then we can close this stupid stop down!” Oh well…even besides that, the station’s still awful. Once the Stoughton Line gets extended to the South Coast, stopping here will feel like even more of a waste of time.
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