This is painful, but in order to say I’ve truly reviewed every MBTA rapid transit stop, I kinda-sorta have to do the Silver Line ones too. Yup, I’ve stooped down to reviewing literal, actual bus stops. This should be interesting…
Ridership: This is the least-used station on Washington Street, with 576 riders per weekday (all ridership counts will be the SL4 and SL5 combined).
Nearby and Noteworthy: This is on the fringes of Chinatown; an Asian supermarket next to the stop seems to be very popular.
Final Verdict: 4/10
The outbound side functions like a normal Silver Line stop with a shelter, countdown clocks, historical information, a wastebasket, a help point, and bike racks. However, the inbound stop is just a sign, with the shelter obscured by construction work. This seems like it’s going to be a long-term thing, but once the construction ends, consider this score raised to a 6.
Station: East Berkeley Street
Ridership: This stop has some of the higher ridership on Washington Street, with 1,373 riders per weekday.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are a few last vestiges of Chinatown here, but the businesses are starting to get more Americanized.
Final Verdict: 5/10
East Berkeley Street has all of the Silver Line amenities one would expect…except these shelters are worse than the other ones on the line. There’s no protection to the sides, so they’re only a minor upgrade over normal bus shelters.
Station: Union Park Street
Ridership: This one is the second-busiest stop on the line (not including transfers and Dudley), getting 1,560 riders per weekday.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are some nice South End businesses around here (mostly restaurants), as well as a gigantic cathedral.
Final Verdict: 3/10
For the second-busiest stop on the line, Union Park Street is pretty darn lame. First of all, the inbound side gets one of the open shelters like at East Berkeley Street, but the outbound side gets an enclosed shelter! I understand that sidewalk space is an issue, but it’s just annoying. Also, the inbound and outbound stops are literally two blocks from each other. Sure, it’s only a three minute walk, but that’s a lot when you think about it! This is just one stop! Why can’t the two sides be closer together, so passengers aren’t inconvenienced going in one particular direction?
Station: Newton Street
Ridership: With only ten more riders than Union Park Street (1,570 in total), this is the highest-ridership local stop on Washington Street.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are some really nice parks right around here, including Blackstone Square, Franklin Square, and the South End Burial Ground.
Final Verdict: 6/10
This is about the closest you can get to a model Silver Line stop, which, even then, isn’t all that great. It has all the amenities you need, and both shelters are of the enclosed variety. They’re right across the street from each other, which is very convenient. Still…it’s just a bus stop.