Boston University students tend to take for granted our easy access to the rest of Boston. What other campus has eight subway stations running right through it? However, we still grumble about the nausea-inducing unsteadiness of the Green Line and wish that the train was as slick as the red line. I’m guilty of all of this, and by the end of a long, rickety train ride, I’m resentful of the T. But instead of waiting for the T ride to be over, I wanted to stop for a bit and look around at the stations that we pass through without a second thought. Here are what I find to be the 5 best T stations on the Green Line:
Government Center was recently redone this year, with construction finishing in late March. The wait, however, was definitely worth it. The newly opened station defies the quintessential dingy, dirty subway station. Rather, Government Center is clean and bright to a degree that it’s nearly blinding after emerging from the dark tunnels. This spacious station barely feels like it’s underground. Fans throughout the platform simulate outdoor breezes so you never have to inhale stagnant subway air. White subway tiles line the walls, and the new floors are built with white granite. The airy outdoor entrance is tall and made almost completely of glass windows, allowing a 360-degree view of City Hall Plaza.
Park Street is like that overachiever in high school who took seven AP classes, but still managed to keep a calm front. Park Street multitasks like no other, but doesn’t get flustered despite the influxes of commuter traffic and changing lines. Every other station might panic, but Park Street has seen worse, and handles train after train with grace (usually). What Park Street has in business, however, it lacks in appearance, especially in comparison with Government Center. Still, Park Street does not differ much from the rest of the Green Line. This station is located right at the corner of the Boston Common, an equally bustling Boston hub.
Boylston is arguably the screechiest stop on the Green Line, and for that reason, Boylston has a bad reputation. When the train cars creak into the platform and groan to a stop, passengers tend to hurry up the stairs and out of the antique darkness of the Boylston underground. But if you stop and look around, the history of the Boylston stop in the Theatre District is embedded in the details of the station. If you check out the old, kind of creepy train car behind the fence on the inbound side, or the photo on the wall of the outbound side, the station’s history comes to life. Also, if you look at the station from the right angle, with the right light, Boylston doesn’t look half bad.
Copley and Hynes Convention Center
The Copley and Hynes stations are as alike above ground as they are below. They are both destination stops for city ventures that have the end goals of an armload of shopping bags (with the side effect of a skinnier wallet). Copley Station is surrounded by storefronts and Hynes is adjacent to Newbury Street. The merchant presence pervades into the underground stations with advertisements for high-end brand names plastered over the walls in these two stations. On the plus side, these stations are reliably clean and conveniently near popular places.
I might attract some flak for saying this, but Kenmore Square has always reminded me of Times Square in New York City. Maybe it’s the stress induced by the cars rushing through the six-way intersection, which is similar to the throngs of tourists that mob Times Square all year long. Maybe Kenmore Square and Times Square would look the same if the cars racing through Kenmore were tourists instead. Or maybe if the Citgo sign beamed as bright as a billboard or the New Year’s Eve clock. Regardless, this station is the last stop on the Green Line that BU claims as its own. Afterwards, the city takes over and east of here, you’re not on campus anymore. Kenmore is like a portal to the rest of Boston, with green glass tiles leading down to the platforms where you wait for a train to take you away. Everyone knows that beyond the Kenmore turnstiles, Boston awaits.