Tufts Medical Center (MBTA station)
Tufts Medical Center station viewed from the mezzanine, looking outbound
|Location||750 Washington Street
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
Silver Line SL4, SL5
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Opened||May 4, 1987 (Orange Line)
July 30, 2002 (Silver Line)
|Previous names||New England Medical Center
|Passengers (2013 daily)||6,106|
Tufts Medical Center is a rapid transit station on the MBTA Orange Line subway and Silver Line bus rapid transit system. It is named for the Tufts Medical Center and is built under a wing of the facility that crosses over Washington Street in downtown Boston between Kneeland Street in Chinatown and the Massachusetts Turnpike.
The underground Orange Line station consists of two side platforms serving the line's two tracks, while Silver Line buses stop along the sidewalks on the surface next to the station entrance on Washington Street. A secondary entrance is available on Tremont Street one block to the west. Like all Orange Line stations, Tufts Medical Center is fully wheelchair accessible.
In September 1968, the MBTA began construction of the shell of the station - then called South Cove Station - and the South Cove Tunnel during what were to be the early stages of the abandoned Interstate 695 project, in anticipation of the future relocation of the Washington Street Elevated. The relocated Orange Line was to run in the median of the extended I-95 in the Southwest Corridor, then replace service on the Needham Line to Needham. Due to a lack of available federal monies, the MBTA financed the $13.3 million project with local bond funds. The tunnel (which reached to Marginal Street) and the station shell were completed in 1972. However, I-695 was cancelled due to local opposition in 1971; the Elevated remained in service, and the South Cove Tunnel and station sat unused.
After the plans for I-95 to be extended into downtown fell through in 1973, the state began looking to use the Southwest Corridor for a combined Orange Line and commuter rail corridor. In 1975, the MBTA applied for $29 million in federal grants to extend the South Cove Tunnel to just past Arlington Street and to finish the interior of South Cove station. Construction began in earnest on the Southwest Corridor in 1979. New England Medical Center station opened on May 4, 1987, along with eight other stations from Back Bay to Forest Hills.
Silver Line service on Washington Street between Dudley and Downtown Crossing started on July 20, 2002, replacing the former #49 bus. Additional service to South Station (now signed SL4) began on October 15, 2009.
The station was renamed to Tufts Medical Center on March 19, 2010 after the New England Medical Center similarly changed its name.
Around 1990, modern artwork was added to the station as part of the Arts on the Line program. Four abstract works, titled Caravan, are displayed beside each of the two escalators to the train platforms. They consist of painted aluminum shapes designed by Richard Gubernick, who also has artwork displayed in LaSalle Station in Buffalo, New York.
At each station between Forest Hills and Tufts Medical Center, two granite columns near the outside entrance have been inscribed with text. Those at Tufts are "Mr. Yee is in the Garden" by Maria Gordett and "The Great World Transformed" by Gish Jen.
The station was constructed under a city block that had been previously cleared for the South Cove urban renewal effort. This gives it several important differences from Chinatown, Downtown Crossing, and State along Washington Street to the north, which were all threaded among existing underground structures. Because it was easier to dig deeply on the empty plot, Tufts Medical Center station has a subsurface fare mezzanine, rather than having faregates located immediately adjacent to the platforms. The platform areas are much wider and taller than the older stations, and the inbound and outbound platforms are directly opposite each other, rather than offset.
The station was not constructed directly under Washington Street; it is angled towards Tremont Street to the west, as the line then curves towards Back Bay. Unlike the older stations, there is a single headhouse on the west side of Washington Street rather than smaller entrances on both sides of the street. This entrance is located under an overhang of a Tufts Medical Center building. There is a secondary entrance without elevator access, located on Tremont Street at Oak Street. Adding elevators to the South Cove entrance is being considered by the MBTA in 2017.
|Outbound||← Silver Line toward Dudley Square (Herald Street)|
|Inbound||→ Silver Line toward South Station (SL4) or Downtown Crossing (SL5) (Chinatown) →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Southbound||← Orange Line toward Forest Hills (Back Bay)|
|Northbound||→ Orange Line toward Oak Grove (Chinatown) →|
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
Tufts Medical Center serves both routes of the Washington Street section of the Silver Line, which operates between downtown and Dudley. The SL4 section serves South Station, while the SL5 section serves Downtown Crossing and Boylston. Silver Line buses stop at the primary station entrance on Washington Street.
The station also sees conventional bus service from two MBTA Bus routes:
- 11 City Point - Downtown via Bayview
- 43 Ruggles Station - Park Street & Tremont Street via Tremont Street
The #11 runs on Washington Street and stops at the same location as the Silver Line, while the #43 runs on Tremont Street and is accessed through the station's secondary headhouse.
- Belcher, Jonathan (29 November 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- Application of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for a Mass Transportation Capital Improvement Grant for a South Cove Tunnel under the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, As Amended and/or the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 20 February 1975.
- "On the Orange Line" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Brelsford, Laura (December 5, 2016). "MBTA System-Wide Accessibility Initiatives: December 2016 Update" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Department of System-Wide Accessibility. p. 10.
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