This is the second time the “heights” (or “highlands”, in this case) Commuter Rail station has the most ridership in a town! Unlike Needham Heights, however, which gets very good ridership, Melrose Highlands’ is very low. But also unlike Needham Heights, Melrose Highlands is actually good.
Melrose Highlands is next to a level crossing with Franklin Street, meaning there might be long periods of waiting for cars while trains stop at the station. The outbound platform is a simple slab of concrete with wastebaskets on it. It does has a high-level boarding platform with a bench (hooray), and the walk to it isn’t that bad.
|The inbound platform.|
As you would expect, the inbound platform has more amenities. For one thing, it has a screen that lets you know how close the next train is, if it happens to be close. It also has a simple shelter with a few benches underneath. It’s pretty close to the boarding area, so I can imagine people waiting here if the former is too crowded.
Melrose Highlands has a small parking lot, with 77 spaces. The parking rate is only 2 bucks, though, so that’s a plus. The station is also served directly by the 131, and the 136/137 is a short walk away. Well, by short, I mean about 8 minutes. Better than 9 minutes, am I right?
|A train coming in…|
Station: Melrose Highlands
Ridership: Well, I did mention it has the highest ridership in Melrose. But by “highest ridership in Melrose”, I meant only about 300 per day. Most of these are locals, with very few people coming from buses, I’d imagine.
Pros: This is the only wheelchair-accessible station in both Melrose and Wakefield, which is good for Melrose Highlands, but bad for all those other stations in the towns. It’s a nice station overall, with good boarding areas and a shelter on the inbound side.
Cons: Melrose Highlands could stand to have some more parking, seeing as it’s the busiest station in Melrose, and the only wheelchair-accessible one.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The surroundings are mostly residential, but there are some businesses on Franklin Street and more if you walk to Main Street.
Final Verdict: 8/10
I think the beefed-up score is mostly because of that accessibility. But since this is the only accessible station in Melrose and Wakefield, I feel like it ought to have a bigger parking lot. I only wish the MBTA had the “weekday availability” stats on its website, which could help to see if the lot actually needs to be expanded. Oh well…
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