Coming off the heels of ranting about the Kingston/Plymouth Line’s split termini, let’s review one of them! Andddddddd…it’s the pointless one. Look, Plymouth is perfectly fine as a station, but I have some serious issues with the fact that it even exists. Oh well…it does, so let’s see what it has to offer.
Well, I think the most important question to address first is: where the heck is Plymouth Station? Because as you can tell from the picture, it ain’t near the Mayflower and it ain’t near the rock! No, Plymouth Station is about a 40 minute walk from either of those popular historical attractions; instead, it’s located in beautiful Cordage Park, which is anything but beautiful. It’s, uh, just a gross industrial park. Hm.
|The platform shelter.|
Plymouth’s high-level platform isn’t anything special. It’s typical Old Colony, with a long shelter and a few benches and wastebaskets underneath. It stretches pretty far on either end, with a few sparse benches and nothing much else.
|The parking lot, next to an abandoned Walmart. How the heck does a Walmart get abandoned?|
This station offers 96 parking spaces, some lined up along the platform and some in a more typical lot formation. “Gosh, 96 spaces?” you may say, “That doesn’t seem like a lot!” Well…it’s over three times the station’s ridership, so, uh…it’s definitely enough. The MBTA website says the station has eight bike spaces, but I couldn’t find any anywhere.
|More of the lot.|
We can’t forget that the GATRA serves this station too! The Freedom and Liberty Links run right alongside the platform in a characteristic deviation. Also, they don’t have signage! Gee, I feel like a bus from this station to downtown Plymouth could get some great tourist ridership, but, uh, I guess GATRA disagrees. PUT A DARN SIGN UP!
|Two shots of the same train.|
Ridership: This is one of the least-used stations on the Commuter Rail. Are you ready for this? 30 inbound riders per weekday. That’s it.
Pros: Well, as a station, it’s fine. You know, it’s your typical Old Colony platform, and the station is right by the water, which is nice. There’s also more than enough parking – like I said, three times the ridership!
Cons: Quite frankly, trains should just stop serving this station, because it’s not helping anyone to send them out here. Okay, it’s helping 30 people, but that’s not a lot of people. The thing is, having trains come out here adds a lot of time to train schedules and to commuters, and for what? So that a few people can get off at a station that shaves off a few minutes of driving time for them? No, I’m sorry, I just don’t see the point.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Oh, you know, one of the oldest settlements in the entire country…if you’re willing to walk 45 minutes, that is! At least there’s always the GATRA to take you there.
Final Verdict: 2/10
Okay, Plymouth as a station is fine. It’s typical. It’s normal. Whatever. But come on, does it really need to exist? No, no it doesn’t. Deviating trains here takes so much time, and it’s helping so few people per day. Yes, as a station it’s fine…but it shouldn’t have been built in the first place.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
Miles, do you have any idea why there is no service during rush hour in the first place?
The only reason I can think of is that Kingston is the one with the big parking lot, so they're just expecting more commuters to go there…?
Interesting that Hastings (44 inbound riders per weekday) has higher ridership than Plymouth (30 inbound riders per weekday), when Plymouth has like a gazillion times more amenities than Hastings.
Interesting that Hastings (44 inbound riders per weekday) has higher ridership than Plymouth (30 inbound riders per weekday), when Hastings completely lacks the amenities that Plymouth has.
When the Kingston/Plymouth line first opened, Plymouth had a rush-hour schedule, but I think ridership was so poor that they reduced it to what they have now. My theory is that they haven't dropped this station because of some promise to the town of Plymouth when they initially planned this line.
Yes, we need signage. It would be helpful if bus stops would be marked. Also, just because there is a busstop, doesn't mean they actually STOP, unless you are waiting there for them. But how do you KNOW there is even a bus stop there? You guessed it: you don't.
Of course, there is no ridership. It seems this transportation is some sort of secret–or something.
Please, let's have some signage. Also mark the buses for destinations. Surely there are people at GATRA who can read.
Trains need to stop going to this station, plain and simple. Miles, take a look at some of the dwell times at Plymouth. Its ridiculous. There are inbound trips that start by picking up in Kingston, then on to Plymouth where it then has to wait 30mins plus until departure time. So everyone from Kingston has to just sit in the bowels of Plymouth waiting until go-time. It enrages people. Parking in Plymouth isnt an option for most the Kingstoners either because theres are hardly any trains that head back to Plymouth…
Exactly! It's just a waste of time!
Here are 2 ideas I’ve got on how to give this station more service without delaying more Kingston trains.
1. Due to the fact that there are two long platforms at Plymouth, you could have the Kingston train arrive at Platform 1. All people going to Halifax and Plymouth will get off the train at Halifax and cross the tracks to meet a dedicated 1-car shuttle that goes to Plymouth. The Kingston train will leave, and two minutes later the Plymouth train will. This is similar to what the MTA does on its Harlem Line at Southeast, where a dedicated shuttle meets trains to bring them further north beyond electrification.
2. Have a commuter bus meeting select rush hour (perhaps the 6:29 and 7:46) trains at Halifax, in addition to all trains currently serving Plymouth.