When its Summer Street doors opened to the public on New Year’s Day 1899, South Station was considered one of the largest and most luxurious train stations in the world. At its opening, the terminal boasted 28 tracks for passenger trains as well as passenger amenities that suited the era, including men’s and women’s waiting lounges. For decades, rail travel boomed and South Station boomed right along with it, until the private automobile supplanted the train as the preferred method of travel for many Americans. But as the railroads declined so did South Station’s facilities, which were carved up and partly sold off, eventually leaving a reduced station, fewer amenities, and only 13 tracks.
Over the last several decades, annual ridership for the various modes of transportation at South Station – rail, subway, bus – has soared to 20 million passengers, leaving the station too small to meet daily demands. The waiting areas are often overcrowded, and passengers line up in uncovered areas to board trains. Passengers must contend with an uninviting and difficult-to-find passageway to the adjacent bus terminal and street congestion from taxis and other vehicles on Atlantic Avenue.
Although its original footprint has shrunk, many of South Station’s key features have been preserved. These features serve as inspiration as MassDOT begins to design a bigger, better, and more modern South Station. As a core principle, MassDOT intends to honor the historic architecture of South Station, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, while simultaneously securing the future of the station as an intermodal hub that will serve the expanding transportation needs of the Northeast U.S. for decades to come.
MassDOT has listened to its customers – the daily users of South Station – and is now exploring design concepts for an expanded South Station that include more light; more open space inside the station; better connections to surrounding neighborhoods; better services and facilities for passengers; better use of technology for passenger information; and waiting areas that are safe, comfortable, and easy to find. Over time, South Station will become more than a rail station: it will feature a great civic space, public venues, shopping, restaurants, and other amenities. The design team is looking for feedback about what you would like to see in the expanded station.
Like other landmark railway stations around the world, South Station is now being reinvented. We envision a new kind of landmark, one that serves several modes of travel while also offering a variety of experiences. Stopping by after a walk along the harbor, meeting friends for dinner, or shopping in a new retail arcade – these activities will all be possible at the new South Station.
MBTA Debuts Performance Dashboard 2.0 posted on Jul 29
The MBTA has launched the next phase of the Performance Dashboard that tracks daily reliability levels of the four subway lines and all 170 bus routes. Responding to customer requests, the Performance Dashboard 2.0 now delivers performance trends over time. The updated dashboard also added …Continue Reading MBTA Debuts Performance Dashboard 2.0
RMV Unveils New Driver’s License and Security Features posted on Jul 26
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles today unveiled a new Driver’s License and Mass ID design to be phased in over 5 years at no additional cost to customers. Last updated in 2010, the designs include new security features better protecting the identity of customers …Continue Reading RMV Unveils New Driver’s License and Security Features
Governor Baker Signs REAL ID Compliance Legislation posted on Jul 26
Governor Charlie Baker has signed bipartisan legislation to ensure Massachusetts’ compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, while adopting public safety standards so the Commonwealth’s citizens can continue to enter federal buildings and board domestic flights and ensuring that state credentials are issued to residents …Continue Reading Governor Baker Signs REAL ID Compliance Legislation