Sunday, November 15, 2015

South Attleboro

You know, every time I ride the Commuter Rail or Amtrak through Attleboro Station, I always think "Wow, this looks like a really nice downtown!" But South Attleboro? Ehhhhhhh. If you like big malls and decrepit train stations, this is the place for you.

Looking down the platform.
The majority of the platform is simply asphalt. There's a shelter on the inbound side, but it doesn't matter much, since it's quite far from the boarding platform. Speaking of the inbound side, the only way of getting to it is this really horrible footbridge. I mean, two of its staircases have been closed because of rust damage, and the whole thing looks really flimsy and unsafe.

The inbound boarding platform.
The station's boarding platforms are pretty barebones. The inbound side has one bench, while the outbound side has two (for some reason). Also, they both have a single wastebasket. Annoyingly, the outbound side's ramp to the boarding platform comes from outside the station. If you're on the low-level platform, you actually have to leave in order to get up to it. I'm not saying too many people are going to be going outbound from here, but that said, they gave that platform double the benches, so you never know.

A part of the platform.
As you can see, there was some random paraphernalia along the outbound platform. For one thing, you've got a few newspaper boxes, spread out with no rhyme or reason. There was also a bike rack that was just kind of...sitting there. Unsurprisingly, it was empty.

Looking out into the parking lot.
Considering that the area around this station isn't very pedestrian-friendly, it makes sense that it would have a large parking lot. Yet even though it has quite a few spaces (568), the lot can get strained during rush hour. This is because the station gets quite a few commuters from Rhode Island, which is only a few hundred feet away. Plus, there's a highway interchange just north of the stop.

This is about it for bus amenities.
Weirdly, despite being in its service area, the GATRA doesn't actually serve South Attleboro. However, the RIPTA operates two routes that terminate here, both of which go to Providence, taking different routes through Pawtucket. Unfortunately, the stop here is literally just a sign, and it's hard to find since it's on the other side of the parking lot. This station could really use a bus shelter at least.

A Commuter Rail train leaving the station.
Nothing like a surprise Amtrak train to make your day!
Station: South Attleboro

Ridership: This is the ninth busiest station on the Commuter Rail, with 1,462 inbound riders per weekday. Most of those riders come from the urbanized Pawtucket, Rhode Island, which is a stone's throw away from South Attleboro. The Massachusetts surroundings of the station are actually somewhat rural, but right when you cross that state border, you're in the city.

Pros: This is as close to a Pawtucket Station as we can get right now, and South Attleboro is pretty much in the city, anyway. It has a reasonably large parking lot that seems like it can just barely handle weekday traffic, and for those without cars, the connections here to the RIPTA 1 and 35 buses make for easy transportation to Pawtucket and beyond. Finally, South Attleboro is wheelchair accessible, which is certainly a good thing.

Cons: Ugh, but this station is horrible. The whole thing has a very barebones feel to it, and the footbridge is in terrible condition. Plus, the bus stop here is just a sign. I'm not sure if RIPTA, being a Rhode Island company, is in charge of or even allowed to build a shelter in Massachusetts, but the current stop isn't much. I also wish it had better signage, since it's all the way across the parking lot on a side street.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Aside from a big mall to the east, you're probably gonna have to cross into Rhode Island to find anything of note here. Newport Ave in Pawtucket is lined with businesses, but are they interesting? Honestly, it doesn't seem like it.

Final Verdict: 5/10
I think a proper station in Pawtucket would draw in a lot of riders, but for now, we're stuck with South Attleboro. It performs its basic function as a train station alright, but it's not a very pleasant place. I mean, it all feels so decrepit, especially the stupid footbridge. That piece of rotting metal needs to be fixed at some point,

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates


  1. within a walk of the station on Newport Ave in Pawtucket are a number good restaurants. Boundary Brewhouse and Mama Spumonie's are two. The nearby, walkable, Massachusetts shopping area has Market Basket, Home Depot and Olive Garden Not a reason for a trip but not nearly the out in the middle of nowhere train station others are..

  2. Dang, it's been ages since I used S.Attleboro. It's gotten very decrepit looking, especially for a more modern station built in the late 80s. One thing that they could do with this station is put "Pawtucket" in bolded black letters underneath the South Attleboro signs kind of what they do with Chinatown/Essex, JFK UMass/Columbia. The station almost lies in Pawtucket RI.

  3. There is actually a plan to build a Train station in Pawtucket (Finally) Its actually going to be located near the corner of Goff and Pine streets. I believe that there was an old mill building in that area that burned down plus an old rail yard that hasn't been used in years. There's defiantly plenty of room to build a Decent train station with plenty of parking. I normally board the train at Providence when my wife is able to drop me off but on the occasions where I need to drive, S. Attlboro is my only affordable option when it comes to Parking.

    1. Hopefully they will build that Pawtucket station and extend the providence line to kingston Amtrak station

  4. I spent many years using this disaster of a train station. The people who use this are commuting into Boston and beyond. In order to get a parking space one has to be there before 6:30 am or you will end up all the way over towards Home Depot. You will then have to walk in the busy road under a bridge to get to the train OR cross the busy road twice. Three flights of crumbling stairs or a crumbling 1/4 mile long ramp gets you to a non sheltered boarding platform. The most disgusting station on the line and gas been for years. I could write a book.

  5. Miles, the MBTA is currently working on a construction of a Pawtucket/central falls commuter rail station. No idea as to when it will open, however.

  6. Many Rhode Islanders use this station too you know! If this were in Pawtucket, then it and Providence would be too close together.


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