Is This What South Station Could Look Like?

MassDOT wants riders to take a survey to tell them what's important in a transit station.

Photo via MassDOT

Photo via MassDOT

First MassDOT announced they would be adding a CVS/Pharmacy and a new bar to South Station, and now, they are looking to explore new design concepts to expand the busy transit hub.

Bringing in more light, opening up space inside the station, offering better services and facilities for passengers, and installing better technology for rider information are just some of the ideas that MassDOT officials say they are kicking around. But the agency wants more feedback from customers on their approach to making the country’s oldest train station a top-notch location for taking public transit.

“South Station will become more than a rail station: it will feature a great civic space, public venues, shopping, restaurants, and other amenities,” according to a blog post from MassDOT officials, which included a rendering of what South Station could look like, complete with a ceiling made entirely of windows, and a cleaner overall design inside.

MassDOT admits that the waiting areas in South Station are often overcrowded, leaving passengers lined up in uncovered areas to board trains and buses.

To alleviate that stress—and others—they continue to encourage riders to fill out their fall survey to find out what other changes need to be made so that South Station can be more enjoyable as people sit and wait for their ride to arrive.

The transit agency also released a potential design concept (pictured above) with the survey on Friday, explaining how they could mesh the “old and new” of South Station. Officials said they plan on preserving the historic aspects of the station, which first opened it’s doors on New Year’s Day in 1899, securing its spot as the biggest train station in the world. But while the past is important, keeping up with the times is, too. “Like other landmark railway stations around the world, South Station is now being reinvented.  We envision a new kind of landmark, one that serves several modes of travel while also offering a variety of experiences,” according to the post from MassDOT. “Stopping by after a walk along the harbor, meeting friends for dinner, or shopping in a new retail arcade—these activities will all be possible at the new South Station.”

Earlier this week, MassDOT—in conjunction with the Equity Office, the firm managing the space and upgrades—announced that four leases were signed, including a deal to bring a 30,000 square-foot CVS/Pharmacy, which will span two levels, a new Starbucks, and the return of Barbara’s Books to South Station.