Miles Taylor, a high school senior from Cambridge, has earned his 15-minutes of fame by reviewing hundreds of public transportation stations across the state. WBUR and boston.com are among media outlets that have profiled Taylor and his Miles on the MBTA blog, where this young man has been documenting his efforts to ride all 1,280 miles of the T, plus a bunch of non-MBTA public transportation options.
But The Swellesley Report hasn’t really taken notice until now: Taylor this month braved the throngs of coffee-carrying Canada Goose coat-wearing train riders packing commuter rail stations at Wellesley Square, Wellesley Hills and Wellesley Farms, and shared his observations.
Taylor tells me he’s not sure why he’s obsessed with public transportation. “I think the best reason I’ve come up with is that I never grew out of that little boy train phase. The obsession has matured over the years, of course – it’s less about the vehicles now and more about what happens behind the scenes and how it’s all planned.”
Taylor likes the look of downtown Wellesley, but he’s much less impressed with our commuter rail stations:
“For its busiest stop and its downtown, you would think Wellesley would ensure that Wellesley Square is as nice of a station as possible. A valid thought, but a wrong one…” he writes. Among other things, he hates on the “dingy” shelter on the platform and the lack of good signage in the area directing people to the train station. Wellesley Square station gets a 3 out of 10 on his rating system.
As for Wellesley Hills station, Taylor compliments the station building/Caffe Nero and the “weird boardwalk” that lets you cross from one platform to the other, though I was surprised he didn’t mention the rare 3-wheel bicycle rack space.
Overall, he rates the station a 4 out of 10, pointing out that there’s “nary a bench” on the outbound side and criticizing the lack of space for the MWRTA bus stop (and don’t get him started on the MWRTA).
Wellesley Farms station is also a 4 out of 10 in Taylor’s book.
First off, he puzzles over the name of this place: “Well, that station name is misleading. I don’t see any farms, just a ton of huge houses!”
Welcome to Wellesley, Miles…
He likes the wooded and winding path to the station, and appreciates the Nirvana-inspired “Come as you are” graffiti in the station building. He wonders about that fake owl in the rafters of the building (we assume it’s to spook pigeons).
As a new regular commuter rail rider myself, I’ve developed a better understanding in recent months of the good and bad of the Wellesley train stations. But reading Taylor’s reviews has inspired me to take an even closer look. So thanks for visiting Miles, and I hope you’ll get a chance to spend a bit more time outside the stations if you return.