Aquarium (MBTA station)

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Aquarium station facing inbound.JPG
Aquarium station in August 2013
Location 183 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′33″N 71°03′11″W / 42.3593°N 71.0531°W / 42.3593; -71.0531Coordinates: 42°21′33″N 71°03′11″W / 42.3593°N 71.0531°W / 42.3593; -71.0531
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Parking none
Disabled access Yes
Opened 22 August 1901 (Atlantic Avenue Elevated)
5 April 1906 (East Boston Tunnel)
Closed 1938 (Atlantic Avenue Elevated)
Rebuilt April 1924, 2000-2004
Previous names Atlantic Avenue (1906-1967)
State Street (1901-1938)
Passengers (2013) 4,776 (daily boardings)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Bowdoin
Blue Line
toward Wonderland
  Former services  
Boston Elevated Railway
Atlantic Avenue Elevated
Closed 1938

Aquarium Station is a subway station on the MBTA Blue Line, serving the New England Aquarium and Boston's Financial District. Uniquely on the MBTA system, the station has high vaulted ceilings similar to stations of the Paris Metro and Washington Metro. The station's headhouses are located in the Financial District at Atlantic Avenue and State Street near International Place. Nearby Long Wharf offers connections to MBTA ferries water taxis to Logan International Airport, and other ferries and excursion cruises.

Aquarium is the deepest station on the Blue Line, as it is located on the portion of the East Boston Tunnel that passes under Boston Harbor. However, the station is not as deep as Porter on the Red Line in Cambridge.


Atlantic Avenue station with streetcar in 1906
State Street elevated station in 1921

The Atlantic Avenue Elevated opened on August 22, 1901, including a stop at State Street. The East Boston Tunnel opened on December 30, 1904, serving streetcars which ran from Court Street downtown to Maverick portal in East Boston. Atlantic Avenue station opened in the tunnel on April 5, 1906. It was connected with the elevated station by a three-story fare lobby that featured long, narrow wooden escalators - the lower sections of which lasted until 2004 - and a pedestrian bridge over Atlantic Avenue. The two stations had separate fare gates; a paper transfer was required to change lines.[2]

The East Boston tunnel was converted to heavy rail metro stock in April 1924; all stations including Atlantic were given high platforms. The Elevated closed on October 1, 1938, and was torn down during World War II for scrap metal.

Atlantic Avenue station was renamed Aquarium on February 13, 1967, as part of a general rebranding by the newly created MBTA. The subway lines were given colored identifying names, and several other downtown stations were renamed.[3] The station was modernized in 1968 as part of a $9 million systemwide station improvement program.[4]

The station was closed from October 14, 2000 until October 29, 2001 as part of a platform lengthening project to allow six-car trains on the Blue Line. State was temporarily named "State - Aquarium" during the closure, and a shuttle bus (route #650) was put in place between the two stations. A new permanent entrance was placed on State Street west of Atlantic Avenue; the Long Wharf entrance did not reopen until September 2003.[3] The rebuilding was officially completed in 2004.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
M Mezzanine To entrances/exits
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Blue Line toward Bowdoin or Government Center (State)
Northbound Blue Line toward Wonderland (Maverick)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Bus connections[edit]

The 6 Haymarket-South Station bus served Aquarium until it was terminated in March 2009 due to low ridership. The 4 North Station - World Trade Center via Federal Courthouse & South Station route was rerouted to cover part of the discontinued route; it serves Aquarium during rush hour.[3]


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. 
  2. ^ Chasson, George Jr. (1987). Lonto, Arthur J., ed. "Boston's Main Line El: The Formative Years 1879-1908". Headlights. Electric Railroader's Association. 49: 16, 57. 
  3. ^ a b c Belcher, Jonathan (31 December 2011). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Fourth Annual Report (Covering the period October 1, 1967 - October 31, 1968) of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1968. p. 23 – via Internet Archive. 

External links[edit]