I love the T, hate Downtown Crossing

The T is Boston’s public transportation system and has both trains and buses.  A month’s pass for the T is probably one of the best deals in town.  For $59 (kids under 11 are free), you can go almost anywhere in the city you want at almost any time.   It is incredibly freeing especially since driving in Boston is enough to make a nun swear.

There is nothing my boys enjoy more than to hop on the train and go to the Boston Common’s playground or the Frog Pond.   Whenever they threaten to beat each other into the emergency room, a quick trip on the T calms them down.

Unfortunately, the T has a major flaw.  Not all of its stations are readily handicapped accessible meaning that getting around with a stroller is a bit of a bitch.   Notice the word readily.   I haven’t been to a station yet that I can be sure lacks an elevator although I have yet to find the elevator at Government Center.  But transferring from one line to another can drive you insane.

For example, to get from the Red Line to the outbound Orange Line at Downtown Crossing, you have to leave the building, go down the block, cross the street and enter again.   That means you have to pay to transfer if you don’t have a pass.   To get from the Red Line to the outbound Green Line, you have to get on THREE elevators.     It’s crazy.  The elevators are slow and cramped; they have been known to smell like pee and booze.    Can you tell that I don’t like changing lines?

Today, we took the boys to the Aquarium.  When we tried to make the change to the Orange Line at Downtown Crossing, we realized we had (yet again) entered the wrong way.   Finally, we said screw it and walked.  It was just over half a mile there and the walk was certainly more pleasant than trying to deal with that frustrating station.

We had a lovely time at the Aquarium; the boys and I had been once before and purchased a membership then.  It’s a lovely aquarium and the central tank is stunning with a shark, sea turtles, tuna and more.   It’s a great place to spend an hour or so but it isn’t large enough to spend much more than that there.  However, with tadpoles, an hour is plenty!  The touch tank was a huge hit with my little guy.   My big boy was dragging his feet back to the train and eventually had to be carried.

And yes, we skipped Downtown Crossing on the way home and walked straight to a Red Line station.


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