Prudential has a pretty grand entrance. Right in the Prudential Center, there’s a nice big “T” sticking out of the wall, telling you there’s a train station. The entrance itself is glass with another “T” on it. When I first saw it, I thought this station would get a pretty good review. Then I went in. It was a much different story inside, with the walls made of white concrete bricks. It was very drab, and it only got worse as I went further.

Looks like a world-class subway station, doesn’t it?

There was an escalator leading down to the main lobby. At the bottom were two random vending machines and a small corridor leading to a set of doors and some fare gates. The area with the fare gates was rather tight, with two entrances feeding into it (the second of which I wasn’t able to visit). I went through the fare gates and of course decided to take the elevator down. It was a dingy, metal box that traveled really really slowly and smelled terrible. I’d hate to get stuck in there…

The bottom of the escalators.
Love the floor!

The station proper was pretty crowded, and I assumed the train was late seeing as this is an E Line station. The platform was ugly as well, with pipes spanning the ceiling and an overall dingy look. The elevator is up on a ramp, for some reason – I don’t see why they couldn’t have just brought it down the extra few feet. I also noticed that for some reason, the only escalator is on the outbound side of the station, and it only goes up. Yeah, I have no idea why, either.

Yup, really pretty.

I decided to go to the other platform to try out the escalator (the train wasn’t coming anytime soon), and noticed some art at the end of the platform. It was hung up pretty high, and it wasn’t that noticeable, but it was actually quite charming. They were fairly simple drawings of children and animals in the forest, but I really liked them. They were pretty big, but hung up above the station name sign – I wonder if anyone ever notices them. Soon I figured I’d go back to the other side to catch my train. It ended up being very crowded, and I was forced to “train-surf” all the way back to Park Street.

It’s nice (this was the one on the inbound side), but how is anyone supposed to notice it?

Station: Prudential

Ridership: As I said, it was pretty heavy when I went there on Martin Luther King Jr. day, which is technically a Saturday. I would assume this is a popular station for tourists, considering the station’s name.

Pros: Having an entrance that goes right into the Prudential Center is nice, and good for tourists who don’t know their way around. And the art is fantastic, it’s just that it’s hard to see, being both on the end of the platform and hung up near the ceiling.

Cons: Aesthetically, this station is terrible. Aside from the fairly grand entrance inside the Center, it gets worse and worse as you go further in. First there’s the bland concrete, then you get to where the floor paint is chipping, and finally the ugly platform, with its numerous pipes and random ramps and escalators. Plus, it’s an E Line station. Ugh.

Nearby and Noteworthy: I think it should be pretty obvious…

Final Verdict: 4/10
This is probably one of the ugliest MBTA stations I’ve ever been in. It lacks the strange charm that its sister station, Symphony, has (I don’t know why I like that station, but I do), and it’s just really ugly. I do like the art, although a) it’s almost at the very end of the platform, and b) it’s very high up. I do have to give the station credit, though, for having a convenient entrance right into the Prudential. Admittedly, that entrance is far too grand for a station like this, but it’s still fantastic to have.

Latest MBTA News: Due to the storm, the Mattapan High Speed Line is operating shuttle buses, and subway lines and the Commuter Rail may experience delays. Some buses may operate with snow routes. Check storm information here.