Downtown Crossing (MBTA station)

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Southbound Orange Line train at DTX.JPG
A southbound Orange Line train at Downtown Crossing
Location Summer Street at Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′20″N 71°03′38″W / 42.3555°N 71.0605°W / 42.3555; -71.0605Coordinates: 42°21′20″N 71°03′38″W / 42.3555°N 71.0605°W / 42.3555; -71.0605
Owned by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Platforms 2 side platforms (Orange Line)
2 side platforms (Red Line)
Tracks 2 (Orange Line)
2 (Red Line)

Bus transport MBTA Bus: 7, 11, 448, 449, 459, 501, 504, 505, 553, 554, 556, 558

Via Winter Street Concourse to Park Street:

Bus transport MBTA Bus: 43, 55
Platform levels 2
Disabled access Yes
Opened November 30, 1908 (Orange Line)
April 4, 1915 (Red Line)
July 24, 2002 (Silver Line)
Previous names Washington (Red Line)
Winter–Summer (Orange Line)
Passengers (2013) 23,478 (weekday average boardings)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
toward Oak Grove
toward Alewife
Red Line
toward Ashmont or Braintree
Silver Line Terminus
One-way operation
  Connecting lines
(Transfer at Park Street)
Green Line Terminus
toward Riverside
Green Line
Peak hours
Green Line
Off-peak / weekend
Green Line
toward Heath Street
Green Line
toward Lechmere
Downtown Crossing (MBTA station) is located in Boston
Downtown Crossing (MBTA station)

Downtown Crossing is a rapid transit station located in the Downtown Crossing retail district in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is the junction of the Orange Line and the Red Line, as well as a major bus transfer location serving 13 MBTA Bus routes including one Silver Line route.

Downtown Crossing station is two levels deep. The upper Orange Line level, opened in 1908, stretches from Temple Place to Franklin Street under Washington Street. The lower Red Line level, opened in 1915, reaches from Washington Street to Chauncey Street under Winter Street. Downtown Crossing is the second busiest station in the MBTA network, with an average of 23,478 entries each weekday in 2013.[1] The Winter Street Concourse allows access within fare control to the Green Line at Park Street.


Summer station under construction in July 1908, five months before opening
Red Line platforms (formerly "Washington") at Downtown Crossing

The Washington Street Tunnel carrying the Main Line Elevated (later the Orange Line) opened on November 30, 1908.[2] Stations on the tunnel were built in pairs with different names and separate entrances, an appeasement to merchants on the street who desired maximal pedestrian traffic. Stations were located at Summer northbound with entrances at Summer Street and Franklin Street, and Winter southbound with entrances at Winter Street and Temple Place.

The Dorchester Extension of the Cambridge Tunnel (now the Red Line) was built one level below the Washington Street Tunnel. Washington station opened on April 4, 1915, with additional entrances on Summer Street at Hawley Street and Chauncey Street.[2]

As part of a systemwide rebranding by the newly formed MBTA, on January 23, 1967 the Orange Line platforms were renamed Washington as well.[2] On May 3, 1987, the name was changed again to Downtown Crossing after the surrounding retail district.[2]

Originally, the Orange Line level had an underground concourse with several direct access points to basement entrances of various stores in the district, such as Jordan Marsh (now Macy's) and the former Filene's department store. In 1979, the Winter Street Concourse was opened, connecting the upper level of Downtown Crossing station (inside fare control) to the upper level of Park Street station two blocks away, utilizing an existing but previously unopened section of the concourse.[3] Both levels of the station were substantially renovated and accessibility was improved in the mid-1980s.

Silver Line service from Downtown Crossing to Dudley Square began on July 24, 2002.[2]

CharlieCard Store[edit]

A ticket counter was formerly located on the mezzanine level of the station (outside fare control) under Winter Street east of Washington Street. On August 13, 2012, the MBTA combined customer services (formerly located in a booth at Back Bay station) into the Downtown Crossing location as the "CharlieCard Store".[4] The store provides services including obtaining special passes for blind, senior, disabled, and other users; transferring value between fare media; and the purchase of regular passes (the last of which can also be done at any unmanned fare machine).[5] Due to unreliable computer systems and high demand, the store experiences long wait times.[6]

Bus connections[edit]

#7 (a local route) and #448 (a longer commuter route) buses at the corner of Summer and Otis streets at Downtown Crossing

A number of MBTA bus routes have Downtown Crossing station as their downtown terminus. These include local routes to Charlestown, South Boston, and the North Shore, express buses which run via the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the bus rapid transit Silver Line to Dorchester.[7]

Most routes stop on Otis Street at Summer Street, a short block east of the nearest subway entrance:[7]

One route stops on Bedford Street at Kingston Street, an additional block to the south:[7]

  • 11 City Point - Downtown BayView Route

One Silver Line route serves Downtown Crossing at a midblock bus stop on Temple Place, half a block from the nearest subway entrance:[7]

  • SL5 Dudley Station - Downtown Crossing at Temple Place

The 92 and 93 stopped at Downtown Crossing until they were cut back to Milk Street in August 2014.[7][2]

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
Outbound Silver Line toward Dudley Square (Boylston)
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Orange Line toward Forest Hills (Chinatown)
Northbound Orange Line toward Oak Grove (State)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Inbound Red Line toward Alewife (Park Street)
Outbound Red Line toward Ashmont or Braintree (South Station)
Side platform, doors will open on the right


Like all Orange Line and most Red Line stations, Downtown Crossing is fully handicapped accessible. Surface elevators are located at the Winter Street, Franklin Street, and Hawley Street entrances.[7] An additional elevator -open business hours only - leads to the Roche Brothers store which connects to the Summer Street concourse. Because Downtown Crossing is an older station built at two different times in a dense urban area, transfers between the two lines are convoluted. There is no elevator between either of the Red Line platforms and the southbound Orange Line platform; passengers making such transfers must use the Winter Street Concourse and the Red Line elevators at Park Street. The Red Line elevators connect to the Summer Street concourse at its far east end; passengers transferring to and from the northbound Orange Line must leave fare control and one end of the concourse and reenter at the other end.

From August 10, 2015 until mid-2016, the Franklin Street elevator is closed due to construction of the Millenium Tower. The closure does not affect accessibility of the station.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Belcher, Jonathan (27 June 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2015" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Clarke, Bradley H. and Cummings, O.R. (1997). Tremont Street Subway: A Century of Public Service. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 49. ISBN 0938315048. 
  4. ^ Rocheleau, Matt (13 August 2012). "MBTA opens new CharlieCard Store inside Downtown Crossing Station". Boston Globe. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "CharlieCard Store". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Helms, Chris (15 August 2012). "Hour Waits Common as MBTA's New CharlieCard Store Opens in Downtown Crossing". Charlestown Patch. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Downtown Crossing Station Neighborhood Map" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Subway Service Alerts: Red Line". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 18 August 2015. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. 

External links[edit]