Central (MBTA station)

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Central MBTA station.jpg
Outbound platform at Central, facing northwest
Station statistics
Address At the intersection of Prospect and Magazine Streets and Massachusetts and Western Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Coordinates 42°21′54″N 71°06′12″W / 42.365°N 71.1034°W / 42.365; -71.1034Coordinates: 42°21′54″N 71°06′12″W / 42.365°N 71.1034°W / 42.365; -71.1034
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Bicycle facilities 36 spaces
Other information
Opened March 23, 1912
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Passengers (2009) 14,531 (weekday average boardings)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Alewife
Red Line
toward Ashmont or Braintree
Central (MBTA station) is located in Boston
Central (MBTA station)

Central (also called Central Square) is an MBTA Red Line subway station located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue with Western Avenue, Prospect Street, and Magazine Street at Central Square, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also includes a street-level bus terminal for local routes.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Outbound Red Line toward Alewife (Harvard)
Inbound Red Line toward Ashmont or Braintree (Kendall/MIT)
Side platform, doors will open on the right


Old tiles above the platforms

Central Square station opened along with Park Street Under, Kendall Square station, and Harvard Square station on March 23, 1912. Several 1912-built tile mosaics displaying the station name are still visible above the platforms. Similar mosaics are visible at a number of other older MBTA stations, including South Station and Broadway on the Red Line.

On January 26, 1978, heavy rains flooded the station.[2]

The platforms at Central were extended in the mid-1980s, as with other Red Line stations, allowing 6-car trains to be run beginning in January 1988.[3] The platform extensions at Central are particularly apparent, because the corresponding arcade of arches and columns between the tracks was not extended when the station was lengthened.

A fictionalized version of Central's platform area appears as a backdrop in the Xbox and PlayStation 2 game Karaoke Revolution.

Bus connections[edit]

Inbound entrance on Mass Ave

Central is a major transfer station, with 8 MBTA Bus routes running from the station to various parts of Cambridge, Somerville, Allston, and Boston.


Central is wheelchair accessible. The elevator on the south side of Mass Ave serves the inbound platform, while the elevator on the north side of Mass Ave serves the outbound platform. There are separate entrances for inbound and outbound trains; there is no fare-controlled connection between the two platforms.


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ Moskowitz, Eric (18 November 2012). "Starts and Stops: MBTA receives first of long-delayed rail cars". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Belcher, Jonathan (12 November 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 

External links[edit]