Ah, that new station smell

Gov. Baker at new Government Center T stop

Gov. Baker welcomed the first riders into the new Government Center station today - people in wheelchairs, who can access the T at the station for the first time ever, at a formal opening ceremony.

Replacing the old bunker with an airier, handicap accessible station took two years and cost $88 million.

Concrete Plaza shows us people wanted to get a look:

New Government Center station on the MBTA

Jack Loughran found a bit of London down by the tracks:

New Government Center station on the MBTA

Cybah noticed the Green Line water spritzers, designed to reduce the infamous squealing as trolleys round the curves:

New Government Center station on the MBTA: Green Line tracks

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Comments

If they clean it as often as

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If they clean it as often as North Station, then that won't last long. Ever see how dirty that floor is at every wooden bench?

Won't be long before the bums

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Won't be long before the bums will start sleeping on the platform benches and urinating on the polished walls.

Sigh. I remember when North

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Sigh. I remember when North Station looked nice when it was new.
Better appreciate Government Center looking like this while you can, it'll never be this clean again.

North Station is an embarrassment

I too remember it new. Now half the floor tiles are missing and replaced by half ass uneven patches. The curved ceiling above the green line tracks is filthy and falling apart. Why is basic maintenance impossible?

Just keep raising the fares, Chuck.

B stops at Park

The T announced that B trains will terminate at Park Street to "alleviate track congestion". This is disappointing and foolish -- it will make B train riders switch trains for a single stop if they are headed to the Blue line. This is confusing for visitors and frustrating for everyone but particularly those with luggage headed to the Airport.

Every inbound train should make it as far as North Station.

Where did the B end before construction?

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Since nothing has really changed in terms of rolling stock or route lengths, the lines should go back to whatever their original terminals were.

Since I am not a regular Green Line rider, I honestly don't know the answer, but I do remember that trains used to end at Government Center before.

Before the renovation, B and

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Before the renovation, B and D branch terminated at Government Center, C terminated at North Station, and E terminated at Lechmere. Now that the construction is over, D branch is restored to Government Center but B branch will continue to terminate at Park St.

The E used to terminate at Park Street

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I recall as a student in the 70s that the E Line terminated at Park Street as did the old A Line. Both lines that went down Huntington Avenue. I'm not sure why.

E

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Was and still is.

The next trolley line would be Lenox Ave, but that and the others using the Pleasant Street Incline were gone before the letters arrived.

The B trains used to terminate at Government Center

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prior to the station closure. During construction, they would terminate at Park Street on the inner loop. To maintain headway ("official" rationale), the eastbound trains would unload and sit there for approximately five minutes before going around the loop to pick up westbound passengers.

Frankly, if the T really wanted to "alleviate track congestion" AND greatly improve service, they would:

a) Run EVERY eastbound train to Lechmere and dispatch westbound trains to the next destination on the schedule - where the train originated is totally irrelevant if your goal is to maximize capacity and maintain reasonable spacing (i.e. "alphabet order") between subsequent trains. At least for now, Lechmere has two loops that can hold a pair of two-car trains each - more than enough capacity to deal with the extra runs.

b) At platforms that are long enough to permit it (and with some slight remodeling, this includes Arlington westbound and eastbound and Park Street eastbound), allow multiple trains to berth at the same time. As an example, there is NO legitimate reason to hold an eastbound train outside of Park Street (or for that matter, Haymarket or North Station) when there is another train on the platform.

c) Re-introduce the 'double yellow' signal rule which allows a train to start entering a station as the previous one is starting to leave the platform. While some signals still display the 'double yellow' indication, it's in the process of being phased out completely. Boylston westbound is the worst for this - dead straight track, but the signal doesn't change from red to signle yellow (skipping the 'double yellow' aspect entirely) until the previous train is halfway through the curve heading to Arlington.

d) Eliminate the pointless succession of mandatory stop and proceed signals - other than those that are at switches/interlockings. Science Park to Park Street westbound is the WORST for this problem. Properly set "grade and time" signals should NEVER require a train to be brought to a complete stop under ANY circumstances other than if the block in front of the train is occupied.

Just my nickel here.

WTF??? t

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Out of all the countless, useless and redundant stops on the B line the MBTA decided to remove an extremely useful stop that transfers to the airport and the rest of the city...
WTF, Mbta????

There are plans to

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There are plans to consolidate some of the closely-spaced surface stops on the B.

Like cleaning out the basement,

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if I can live without something for two years, pretty sure I don't need it!

IMO, shoulda just shut this station down and used savings to fund the system, upgrade the oldest fleet of trains (Orange, Red). Wonder how much debt this upgrade incurred, and how many future fare hikes will be needed to pay for it?

Somehow this seems more like cosmetics or a PR effort.

Signed,
Grumbly

More like so the MBTA could stop paying fines

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for not being compliance in with ADA requirements. Plus, Blue/Green is a fairly important connection.

Yes, I know full accessibility is a good thing that should be encouraged. Just pointing out the real rationale for finally completing this project.

The difference between style and substance

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IMO, shoulda just shut this station down and used savings to fund the system, upgrade the oldest fleet of trains (Orange, Red)...Somehow this seems more like cosmetics or a PR effort.

You've got every right to your own opinion, but if you truly believe that making a station handicap-accessible is "cosmetics"[sic], I invite you to try and go up or down a long flight of stairs in a wheelchair, or to get to the airport from a stop on the Green Line.

if I can live without something for two years, pretty sure I don't need it!

Of course, it's all about you and your needs.

And...

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...the connection between the Green Line and the Blue Line becomes a big FU?

As far as eliminating the stop, look at the physical distance between North Station and Haymarket, then Haymarket and Park, then Park and Boylston, then Boylston and Arlington, and so on. Again, YOU may not have missed it, but that's a big gap compared to the distance between other stops.

Scollay Square

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I take it the old Scollay Square signs that had been partially painted over are all gone now.

Nope

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They actually carefully took them down and re-installed them. I think there are four of them on display now.

Great news for those with disabilities

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It's about time (2016) the Gvt Center T stop is accessible- and clean! If only all out T stations and school buildings met ADA requirements as required by the law. It's amazing Boston has gotten away with this for so long.

It took a long time because

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It took a long time because the ADA does not make economic sense. The red line has been very accessible for a long time. I can count on one hand the number of wheelchairs I see on the red line each year. People in wheelchairs seem to be more likely to drive or take the Ride than the red line.

ADA was a well-meaning piece of legislation, but it mandated a lot of infrastructure that rarely, if ever, gets used. The most positive impact of ADA on the MBTA seems to be making it easier for baby strollers to get around.

A society of equals shouldn't exclude

Some things aren't intended to make money. People with handicaps shouldn't be excluded from places due to their misfortune irrespective of the cost.

Besides, not everyone can use the stairs. Even if a person isn't in a wheelchair doesn't mean they are able to walk on stairs or ride an escalator.

The need for elevators was only one of many reasons the station was renovated.

I disagree about the ADA

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Now that I'm older and have some limitations in what I can do, I am very grateful for the escalators and elevators at the T-stops. While there aren't that many people with wheelchairs, there are a lot with walking aids or who just have difficulty walking. Also, not having to use the stairs makes things a lot easier for those who are injured and temporarily disabled, as well as for pregnant women.

This is the most Ayn Rand comment ever

Screw the handicapped. The cost/benefit analysis is not worth it. Makers vs takers. The handicapped are the takers.

This is what is wrong with this country.

This is what happens when a book that appeals to a 12 year old mind becomes the philosophy of a major political party in the US.

F*** Ayn Rand and any person who thinks like her.

This isn't the perspective of

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This isn't the perspective of 20-year old randroids, but 40-year old professionals who've had to buy pool-lifts are swimming pools that never once get used, create handicap spaces in front of daycares that never get used, install not one but two drinking fountains at offices where everyone drinks bottled water, the list goes on and on.

How do you know they are never used?

Are you camped outside every daycare center every day? Are you at the local pool every day? Do you work in every office, where handicapped people may work, have worked in the past or may work in the future?

The list goes on and on and on. So what? You think handicapped people don't have a right to use a space that you use? Because it costs too much?

F*** YOU!

You want it? You pay for it.

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You want it? You pay for it. I doubt the state would turn down voluntary donations from concerned individuals for projects like this.

Awful easy to argue that other people should pay for stuff you want, isn't it? Especially on the Internet.

Put down your copy of "Atlas Shrugged"

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You want it? You pay for it.

Put down your copy of "Atlas Shrugged" and join human society, willya? You may be suffering from the delusion that other people aren't paying for stuff that you want, but it is just that, a delusion. Not, mind you, that accessibility is a "want" thing; it's a matter of survival. If you still think otherwise, bear in mind that you're only temporarily able-bodied. On the day that you are no longer able-bodied, you'll be living in the world that you're creating today. Better do a good job of it.

When I I get a chance to pick & choose...

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In this tax system you propose, anon @ 7:59 AM, could you please share your real identity? Because if we're going to pick & choose where our taxes go down to the individual person, as you propose,I would choose to keep any of my tax dollars from going to you. I will still choose to pay for sewers, roads, emergency services, and the like but you would be banned from using them.
Or, you know, you could acknowledge that you live in a society with other people, and stop being such a jerk.

By anon (not verified) on Mon

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By anon (not verified) on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 6:21pm
This isn't the perspective of 20-year old randroids, but 40-year old professionals who've had to buy pool-lifts are swimming pools that never once get used, create handicap spaces in front of daycares that never get used, install not one but two drinking fountains at offices where everyone drinks bottled water, the list goes on and on.

One day, a disability may fall upon you. You will be begging for accessibility and thankful that you will be able to utilize these services.

Um

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Government Center is one of two big transit hubs for accessing the airport (South Station for the Red/Silver is the other.) It needs to be accessible for people carrying suitcases.

When everyone thinks of handicap accessibility, they always think of people who are permanently handicapped. But many healthy people go through periods where they are temporarily handicapped: broken legs and sprains require crutches, pregnancies make walking difficult for some, recovering from pneumonia makes the physical exertion of steps difficult.

And of course, that's not to mention the other scenarios where someone might not be able to navigate steps well in good health: escorting a small child; carrying heavy shopping bags or other purchases; taking a crated pet to the veterinarian; traveling to catch a Greyhound or Amtrak to another city.

If you want to become a city that's truly mass transit accessible...you have to make mass transit accessible.

Agreed

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When everyone thinks of handicap accessibility, they always think of people who are permanently handicapped. But many healthy people go through periods where they are temporarily handicapped: broken legs and sprains require crutches, pregnancies make walking difficult for some, recovering from pneumonia makes the physical exertion of steps difficult.

Agreed. I broke my knee a few years ago (at a T station, no less!) and I rode the T everywhere as I didn't have money for cabs. Riding the T on crutches opens your eyes to how bad the T is with accessibility.

I had to map out my route in advance to where the escalators and elevators are. I'd also ride certain bus lines over others, even if I had to wait longer or they took longer routes because a connection was better/shorter/less walking.

A few times, I didn't pay attention to the T's listing of out of service escalators/elevators.. I think one day I had to use Arlington. Forget it if you're on cruches. I started to crawl up a set of stairs and succumbed to the fact that I would have to go to another station and switch to another train so I would be on a side with working escalator/elevators.

I really do feel for anyone who has mobility needs and uses the T. It can be rough. An accessible GC is a very welcome to addition to anyone who has mobility needs.

ADA isn't just for wheelchair users

There are plenty of people who cannot easily climb stairs (up *or* down) but who don't need wheelchairs to get around. All of them will benefit from elevators and escalators. Another group of beneficiaries are people who are going to Logan Airport with luggage.

I hope Hynes is next on the ADA list.

Hynes Station is being

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Hynes Station is being totally rebuilt at the expense of a private development when the air rights project adjacent to it is under construction. It was part of the requirement for bidding on the development of the air rights.

Symphony is also next on the list. Why that wasn't done as part of the 3 year reconstruction of the sidewalks and whatnot in front of Symphony Hall is beyond me.

I agree with you,

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as usual. However, where do they put elevators at Hynes and Symphony? Awfully tight quarters there. Boylston is also tight, but I think possible. Prudential is kind of tight also.

Hope you never need ADA

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Um, ADA is more than just people in wheelchairs. People walking with limited mobility, those who are visually impaired? Did you ever think you didn't see many people on wheelchairs on the Red Line because other T stations are inaccessible? (I believe Wollaston ilacks accessibility). It was only recently that green line trains were modified. People with disabilities have to put with enough crap every day without listening to someone like yourself make ignorant comments.

Why can't MBTA do what other

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Why can't MBTA do what other subways do and put up a list of stations on the wall? Immediately tells you how many stations to your destination and even if your destination is on the wall.

Inbound/outbound is stupid and short-sighted IMO. Not everyone is taking the T into Boston and therefore thinking in terms of the city plus inbound becomes outbound just as you exit? Great thinking there.

Inbound/outbound is stupid

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Inbound/outbound is stupid and short-sighted IMO.

And Government Center Green Line level is now signed "Copley and West (totally ignoring Park Street)" and "North Station and North (should be East - this corresponds with the operations nomenclature of eastbound/westbound.

Is it any wonder people get so easily confused trying to use the system?

GLX

Prepping for the green line extension, which will be closer to north than east. They won't have to change the sign again when it opens. seems smart to me

That made me laugh

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When the GLX opens...LOL LOL

Come on, you know if it ever gets built, no train will run on it until easily 2025. At that time, all the current crop of millenials will have moved out of Somerville, negating its existence.

Do you really think the state cares about the illegals taking the green line from the crap part of Somerville to Waban to clean houses? They don't. I'm really sorry to disappoint you on this, but that's how the world is. In about 15 years they will want better light rail to Chelsea because that will be the last place they can afford.

Enjoy the hell you have wrough.

What's with the sign? Why is

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What's with the sign? Why is it different from the ones at every other station? I have to say I prefer the large colored bar much better.

That's the MBTA's new signage

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That's the MBTA's new signage style, replacing the old style they've used since the 60s.

You can also find the new style signs at Assembly, and a few random places around the system, particularly on temporary construction signage (at DTX, for example).

The color coded signage was

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The color coded signage was the only thing which wasn't broken at the MBTA. So of course they paid some architecture/design firm a gazzilion dollars to muck it up with trendy minimalist design worthy of smart phones and not public infrastructure.

Why doesn't every MBTA

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Why doesn't every MBTA station have terrazzo floors and platforms? That stuff could survive an atomic bomb and looks like the cat's meow.

Because public infrastructure

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Because public infrastructure is about constantly spending more public money for (re)construction, not building things to last.

Rats

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Looks like "Picture of Charlie Baker in a T station" has to come off the list for this year's Impossible Scavenger Hunt

This is bad

He's going to go home tonight thinking all T stations look like this.

Water

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I just took a tour of the new station and saw this on the inbound Green Line tracks. Looks like they spray water on the tracks just before and after a train leaves to prevent the old squealing sound that occurred on that side.

And yes it works! no sound.. or very minimal.

I hope so

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It really did work well to dampen the noise. There's still SOME nose, but far, far less than what was there before the remodel.

Lots of people (who replied to that tweet) are suggesting Boylston should get this pronto

True

The water system might not be usable so close to the 3rd rail.

I'll venture a guess that a

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I'll venture a guess that a drainage system was added or the existing drainage system significantly fixed to accommodate this system.

I vote

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for one on Commonwealth Ave between Allston and Griggs.

When I lived there, we'd have to pause Netflix every 5 minutes during rush hour as the train went by.

When I lived there, my sister asked me, during a phone call, if I'd gotten a pet pterodactyl, because if I hadn't then OMG WHAT IS THAT AWFUL NOISE IN THE BACKGROUND?

When I lived there, I'd wake up at 5:05 am rainy or snowy morning confused, because I'd internalized the noise so well that the absence of it woke me up.

It'll probably be maintained until somebody sues

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after a nozzle goes out of adjustment and sprays water on the platform instead, causing somebody to slip and fall.

The concept is actually very old technology. Except that they used to use grease instead. Grease has the advantage that it doesn't evaporate, so one application works for multiple trains.

I'm betting on the MBTA

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I'm betting on the MBTA "discovering" in about 9 months that water does this funny thing around these parts: It freezes.

This is the transit agency that only last year discovered the idea of spraying antifreeze/de-icer on their third rails.

Remember those water cooled

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Remember those water cooled fans installed at all underground stations to cool off the 90+ degree stations in the dead of summer?

Those lasted one season (2007?) before being abandoned in place.

I give it a month before the

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I give it a month before the sprayers are clogged with grime, or the supply lines crack due to vibration, or until next winter (because they forgot water freezes in the winter), or some such, and then three more years before the T sends someone down to unclog/repair it.

Meh

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Not as impressive as NYC's 34th St - Hudson Yards station or the newly minted 4 billion dollars World Trade Center Transit Hub

You mean that Hudson Yards

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You mean that Hudson Yards station that just opened 6 months but is plagued by a leaky roof causing escalators to be out of service. I'll take the new Government Center station over the Hudson Yards station if it works as its supposed to.

The term "handicap" is

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The term "handicap" is outdated and considered offensive by people with disabilities. You can just say "accessible station."

Hi ya pal

Hi, I'm Charlie Baker. I managed to saddle the T with enough debt back in the day that this is the last new station you will ever see. Enjoy!

Now the T needs to improve

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Now the T needs to improve the gap space between the platform when boarding the train. Of you don't know how to pop a wheelie the wheels get caught in that space. Also on the buses those seats are for the disabled/elderly not for anyone with a stroller or cart.