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Blue Line Modernization


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This will be a great improvement to the subway system. the subway is a great way to get to the airport, but it's hard to handle a lot of luggage there. Interesting where the interviewed guy is from.

By Robin Washington

Sunday, February 8, 2004

Luggage-laden air passengers opting to take the subway to Logan International Airport won't have to endure the antiquated T station's dilapidated staircases and single escalator for long.

The new $22 million Airport Station is 90 percent complete and set to open in April, T officials said during a walk-through of the facility, which includes multiple escalators, oversized elevators and turnstiles equipped with suitcase slides.

That earned the approval of Harvard alum John Simpkins, now of South Carolina, who got a glance of the new station while waiting at the old one.

``I think the T's getting soft!'' he said of the changes. ``I take the T whenever I come here and any improvement is always welcome.''

T General Manager Mike Mulhern said the station would offer a better impression of Boston to air travelers, ``especially first-time visitors.''

T design director Barbara Boylan said a new station was needed rather than a renovation because of the configuration of new airport roads. It also will have a bridge connecting it to East Boston residents not using the airport. ``We looked at what the needs of the neighborhood were and how to connect them with those of the airport,'' she said.

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More about the new Airport Station from Wallace Floyd Design Group:


Logan International Airport, East Boston, MA

Improving Airport Station is a major piece of the MBTA's work to make significant upgrades to the Blue Line. A new station will be built 500 feet east of the existing station. The site will serve Massport's bus system to Logan Airport, using roadways designed and constructed by the Central Artery/Tunnel Project.

The new station is designed to provide enhanced patron service and intermodal transfers for community and airport riders. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation is coordinated for functional, attractive, and safe access. Pedestrian entrances are available on both the inbound and outbound sides of the station, connecting to East Boston neighborhoods. Nearby Memorial Stadium Park will be linked to the station by a newly landscaped plaza.

New features include enlarged fare collection turnstiles, new elevators and escalators, and flight status monitor displays. In addition, a program for independent selection of artists will be initiated to develop artwork for the new station.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't wait for the new station, the old one is about the fall apart... and is pretty disgusting. It also sounds great that it will be linked to the park. Boston is the only airport I know that has a community park so close to its airport if not on airport property.

It is still a pain to have to hop on a shuttle bus, its better than airports with no rail link whatsoever.

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Guest donaltopablo

One thing I like about Atlanta, our airport rail station is pretty damn good. It's one of the more popular stations, so it's well maintained. Plus, it literally drops you off in the airport terminal. They even have a Delta check in counter in the train station.

Get off train, check in luggage and get ticket. Go to gate. Don't have to walk more than 100 feet total.

I've been to Boston many times, but have yet to ride the train. I considered it a few times, but most of the times I flew into Boston was on business, and my company at the time, location wasn't anywhere near the T or commuter rail.

Driving out of the airport was a nightmare.

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  • 3 months later...

I was trying unsuccessfully to find some. It's unlikely I'll be there to take my own any time soon, though I will be in Boston next weekend, no time for the airport. Let me see if I can find some...

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A few pictures from opening day from Boston.com


The MBTA's new, $23 million Airport Station, located about 500 feet east of the old station, opened to passengers.


Gov. Mitt Romney was on hand for the opening. "For too long, too many of our MBTA stations have been allowed to deteriorate and fall into disrepair," Romney said.


The new station features wider escalators and elevators to accommodate travelers with luggage, turnstiles with luggage slides, and monitors with flight information.


The new station is part of a $740 million project to modernize the Blue Line with new stations and a new fleet of 94 subway cars which will start going into service next year.

This Thread at Boston Skyscraper Guy has some more photos posted by a member.

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Project Description

The entire existing Government Center station will be renovated and modernized. The station will be outfitted with new elevators, escalators, stairs, lights, and communication systems. The platforms on the Green Line level will be raised to be compatible with the new low-floor vehicles, and the platforms on the Blue Line level will be extended to accommodate six-car trains. These improvements will bring the station complex into ADA compliancy. Above ground, a new glass and steel headhouse will be constructed on City Hall Plaza, bringing natural light into the Green Line level. Additionally, a second headhouse with elevator and escalator will be constructed adjacent to the JFK building, leading directly to a new subsurface Blue Line mezzanine and fare-collection line. The design work was completed by CityBuilders: A joint venture of SYSTRA and Thomson Design Associates.








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Project Description

Maverick station is one of the remaining stations to be made accessible and refurbished as part of the Blue Line Modernization Program that began in the late 1990s. The project includes station modernization, the lengthening of platforms for the six-car trains, and accessibility for all with the addition of elevators and escalators. Other accessible features include detectable tile warnings along the platform edges, new LED signs, and all new upgrades to the electrical, mechanical, communication and security systems within the new station. Limited areas of the tunnel exposed during construction will be repaired and waterproofed as part of this new work. Surface areas will include upgrades to landscaping, hard-scape, and improvements to the busway.

The station architecture restores a contemporary civic significance to the urban square and its modern architecture is contemplative of the early 1924 days of the rapid transit portal station at Maverick Square. The station design includes a curved roof with glass walls for increased visibility. The new station lighting, which highlights the architecture of this state-of-the-art station, will add a new vitality and a comfortable environment for daily commuters when accessing the bus or the subway. The easy accessed and weather-protected station will be an asset to the new Maverick Square.

The sub-aqueous tunnel from Court Street at Scollay Square (now State Street Station) to East Boston at Maverick Station is celebrating its centennial in 2004. This East Boston tunnel is the first United States underwater mass transit tunnel using poured-in-place concrete and shield construction. The Maverick Station tunnel opened for public transit with streetcar trolleys on December 30, 1904.

Architects/Engineers for this project are DMJM+Harris with Peter Hopkinson.





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  • 5 months later...

One thing I like about Atlanta, our airport rail station is pretty damn good.  It's one of the more popular stations, so it's well maintained.  Plus, it literally drops you off in the airport terminal.  They even have a Delta check in counter in the train station. 

Driving out of the airport was a nightmare.


I live in Atlanta for school right now, and going to the airport is one of the only reasons why anyone uses MARTA. The airport is really nice, but whenever someone tries to convince me to like Atlanta because of the airport, I always reply "I don't live at the airport!"

Btw, with the new Fort Port Channel tunnel, driving out is a lot quicker.

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  • 3 months later...

Maybe it's just the bias of my interests and location, but I was under the impression that the Blue Line was the least-utilized and, sort of, the least important branch. Doesn't it have the lowest ridership of the four lines? They're closing the Bowdoin station which leaves Blue with, what, three stops inside Boston (in highly commercial/touristy areas that don't demonstrate the kind of mixed-use density that makes the city so great), and a bunch in the north shore suburbs?

Not that I have anything against renovations for it; maybe it's been unduly neglected as a result. I guess it just reopens old wounds by reminding me of a sort of half-assed point-to-point tram posing as a "subway" a la Atlanta's MARTA, while most of the T system is so genuinely useful as an everyday transit option.

Coming from Atlanta, a city and a metro desperately trying to lure residents and commuters into using a subpar transit system, it's so nice to be living in an area where public transportation is an integrated part of people's lives, and where there is public support for spending money on it.

What I'd really like to see is an intelligent way to make the Green Line trolleys a little quicker. :)

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Yes, the blue line is the shortest line, and has the fewest riders.

Red Line 210,500

Green Line 204,800

Orange Line 154,400

Blue Line 55,600

However, it's also been the most negelcted, all of the other lines have experienced major upgrades to stations and equipment, it's the blue line's turn. The station renovations taking place now are to increase the capacity of the line. It currently runs four car trains and will be able to run 6 when all the stations are renovated. It is important as it is the line to the airport to have an attractive appearance to visitors. The blue line should also be getting a lot more attention in coming years. There is a big move in Revere to increase the population density along the beach. There's also the proposal to extend the blue line to Lynn (and perhaps Salem) which will dramatically increase ridership on the line.

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The Blue Line has the smallest ridership because it is the shortest line.

Red Line 210,500, 20.5 Miles

Green Line 204,800, 25.4 Miles

Orange Line 154,400, 11.1 Miles

Blue Line 55,600, 5.9 Miles

The number of riders per track mile is:

Red Line = 10,268

Green Line = 8063

Orange Line = 13,910

Blue Line = 9424

If you factor in its length, the Blue Line is a very well-used line.

As Cotuit said, it's been neglected, and because of that it's been the target of a number of expansion projects, including the Red/Blue Line connector and the extension to Lynn/Swampscott/Salem.

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Ah, that makes sense. Now that I'm looking, I see I overestimated the length of the Blue Line; I thought it went further north than it does.

It seems like a great idea to expand it through the close-in North Shore suburbs. I haven't spent a whole lot of time up there but those towns all seem to be pretty dense and urban-feeling, and I bet heavy rail would serve them well -- better than, say, Braintree. (It doesn't seem like anybody even lives within pleasant walking distance of the Braintree station.)

Thanks for the info, guys.

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