Government Center Station Closing: The Impact
March 21, 2014
Government Center station, one of Boston’s major downtown transit stops and the MBTA’s lone transfer point between the Blue and Green Lines, will close for two years, beginning Saturday, March 22, 2014. Subway trains will still pass through the station – so no shuttle buses are necessary – but commuters who use the stop to access City Hall Plaza and surrounding businesses and neighborhoods will need to use a nearby station instead. The renovation project will add handicap accessibility to the station (it’s currently the only downtown-area station that is not accessible) and various other improvements will be made, including new escalators, LED signs, a larger fare collection area, and other utility upgrades.
Fortunately, Government Center station is centrally located, with four other MBTA stations within a ½ mile (or 10-minute) walk. Three of these stations (State, Park Street, and Downtown Crossing) together serve all four MBTA lines. Bowdoin Station, which is typically open only on weekdays during work hours, will now operate every day from the start to close of service.
To transfer between the Green and Blue Lines, commuters will need to ride the Orange Line between Haymarket and State, or walk between Park Street and State. The MBTA will also provide a free shuttle service between Haymarket and Government Center. For riders continuing through Government Center on the Blue and Green lines, the MBTA has told riders to budget an extra 10 to 15 minutes for their commutes.
Yes, the closure of a major MBTA station is certainly inconvenient, but in this instance it’s necessary to modernize the subway system. While this is a temporary two-year closure for most riders, those passengers in wheelchairs have never been able to use Government Center. The station, itself, is also one of the least welcoming in the downtown area. And like many maintenance and improvement projects, revamping an MBTA station is bound to cause inconveniences; however, once it is complete, the system as a whole will be more welcoming and accessible to all users.
Will you be impacted by the closure of Government Center station? What station, if any, should be next in line for renovation?