Beverly: the point where the Newburyport and Rockport Line come together, as well as the third-busiest station on the whole Commuter Rail. So why is it so subpar?

Looking down the platform.

We’ll start with a good part: the platforms. I gotta say, the shelter to busyness ratio is really well-done! The outbound side gets a simple “modern” Commuter Rail shelter, while the inbound side is covered by a long building that now houses a restaurant. I think that’s perfect – I’m sure this station does get outbound ridership so it’s good to give those passengers a shelter, but of course more amenities should be, and thus are, given to the inbound side.

On the inbound side.

There are plenty of amenities underneath that shelter, too. You’ve got multiple benches, wastebaskets, and newspaper boxes along the whole thing, and even a bike rack further down! There’s car parking on either side of the station, but I think it might be for town residents only because of the new lot the T built. We’ll get to that.

OH NO!!!!

The third-busiest station on the Commuter Rail. The third-busiest station on the whole Commuter Rail. And these are the mini-highs it gets. They’re falling apart. They have nothing on them aside from one solitary bench on the inbound side. Really??? I mean, when the T was building its new fancy parking lot here, they couldn’t have thrown in some new mini-high platforms? These are awful.

The entrance to the parking garage.

Using the one crossing in the middle of the station (which in itself is annoying – there couldn’t be a second one near the garage?), we can cross over to the outbound side. From here, there’s the entrance to the Beverly Depot Parking Garage. It’s a long footbridge with grilled fence-walls that seem to trap and kill a barbaric amount of houseflies!

Inside the garage.

It’s strange having this brand new, modern parking garage in an otherwise old and primitive station. The three-story building has a total of 500 spaces and some fancy machines that take special Beverly Garage smart cards. Overnight parking is even allowed – indeed, you can park here for as long as you want. Too bad the lot still suffers from severe underusage, and as recently as September 2015 it was barely half-full on weekdays.

A train receding into the distance.

Station: Beverly

Ridership: Like I said, this is the third-busiest station on the Commuter Rail, getting a massive 2,058 inbound riders per weekday in 2013. That’s huge. It’s more than even some subway stations in Boston!

Pros: The low-level platforms are well-executed, with good amounts of shelter for both sides of the station. Despite its underusage, the new parking lot is a nice inclusion to the station, and having too much space is better than too little, especially if the station is right in a downtown like Beverly – it’s not like it’s a sprawling lot or anything. As ridership grows, more people will presumably use the garage.

Cons: Why does the third-busiest station on the whole Commuter Rail system look like…like this? It is not okay that a station with this much ridership has to deal with those empty decrepit mini-high platforms. I mean, they’re annoying at stations like Montserrat and North Beverly, but those stops get a fraction of Bevery’s ridership.

Nearby and Noteworthy: You’ve gotta walk a few blocks to Cabot Street, but once you get there, you’ll find a pretty town center with a variety of small businesses.

Final Verdict: 5/10
Let it be known that in most other situations, Beverly would probably get away with a 6. However, because its ridership is so high, the abysmal mini-high platforms are that much more unacceptable. It’s even more infuriating that the T gave this station a modern parking lot, yet in the process of building it no one ever looked over at the mini-highs and said, “Huh, those kinda suck…maybe we should replace them.” The rest of the station is fine, good even, but the mini-highs are inexcusable.

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