Monday, December 11, 2017

MVRTA: Washington Square Transit Station

Located right in downtown Haverhill, the Washington Square Transit Station is the hub for all of the MVRTA's routes in the city. But here's the million-dollar question: is it nice like the Costello Transportation Center, or disgusting like the Buckley Transportation Center?

Leaning on the Buckley side of things...
The main area of the transit center is small and cramped, but it does feel cozier than Buckley. That could be because this is a quieter station, though. Amenities include a wastebasket, some newspaper boxes, a hand sanitizer dispenser, a vending machine, a change machine, a community board, and an information booth. Interestingly, when I came here last for my Service Change, the bench had a bunch of pillows on it, but...uh...I guess they're gone now.

Oh geez...
Leading around the side of the building, there's an area with a few more benches and a hallway that goes to the "Sanitary Station." That's code for the bathrooms, with both men's and women's rooms, although the MVRTA considerately put up signs saying that one can use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. That being said, these are like prison bathrooms. I mean, just look at it! Ew!

The mind-bending outer sectton.
How can such a small building be so maze-like? The outer glass section that wraps around the outside of it has different stair and ramp bits that lead to different parts of the facility. I keep finding myself taking the wrong turn and having to figure out where the heck I am!

Phew, made it outside.
There really isn't much to say about the boarding area because there's nothing there. It's a sidewalk in the middle of a parking lot with spaces for buses to pick people up, and that's about it. This place does have parking, but I'm not sure how many spaces there are or how much it costs to park in them.

The building's outside.
MVRTA Station: Washington Square Transit Station

Ridership: I don't have ridership numbers for this place, but there are fewer Haverhill routes than Lawrence routes, and they're generally much less busy. From what I've seen, it's usually quiet here.

Pros: It does in fact have walls and a roof, so that's something. Okay, it also has a fair amount of useful amenities, so this place isn't all bad.

Cons: I dunno, this whole place feels kinda gross and uncomfortable. I really don't know if it's the transit center's fault or some of the people that use it or maybe both, but everything here feels weird. It's way more subtle than the outright assault on humanity that Buckley is, but there's something about Washington Square that's just not right. Also, the bathrooms are horrible.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Downtown Haverhill isn't really my cup of tea, but this stop is very much in the thick of things there.

Final Verdict: 4/10
Gosh, I know Washington Square tries to do a lot of things right, but for some reason it all ends up feeling a bit wrong. There are some obvious flaws with the station itself, such as the barebones boarding area or the heinous bathrooms, but the rest is kind of a gut feeling: I don't like waiting here. And truth be told, I feel perfectly fine waiting at other supposedly "sketchy" transit stations like Ruggles or Dudley, so it might be a problem with the station itself. Who knows? All I know is that I don't like it here very much.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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