South Station Transportation Center Improvements
South Station Transportation Center improvements will be completed as part of the South Station Air Rights Project, a collaboration between the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), developer Hines, and the MBTA.
In 1977, the BPDA (then the Boston Redevelopment authority) sold South Station to the T—but maintained ownership of the air rights. In 2016, the BPDA approved the air rights project, which will begin in late January 2020.
The nearly 5-year project will deliver privately funded improvements to South Station’s rail and bus terminals alongside the creation of a new, mixed-use tower that will include office and residential space.
During this construction period, there will be temporary changes at South Station, inside and out, that will impact rail and bus passengers.
Riders will need to allow more time for travel through the station and can expect some delays and disruption because of this improvement project.
What to Expect During This Work
Construction, expected to last 54 months, will begin in February 2020.
Construction zones are likely to change the way you access South Station and the bus terminal. Here's what you can expect:
- Beginning in March 2020, trains boarding on Track 13 will be accessible only on the west side of the platform, closest to Track 12. The east side of the platform, closest to the Post Office, will be closed as part of the construction zone.
- Trains might arrive and depart on a different track than what is typical. Be sure to check your track number before boarding,
- Starting in summer 2020, riders should allow extra time (5 – 10 minutes) as they get used to new construction zones in the station and changes in paths of travel.
Service on the Red Line and Silver Line should not be impacted.
Starting in summer 2020, riders making connections within the station should allow extra time as they get used to new construction zones in the station and changes in paths of travel.
- Construction will begin in late February 2020 to remove the bus shelter at the Summer Street @ South Station stop and allow for the construction of a new pedestrian ramp.
- For riders of MBTA Routes 4, 7, and 11, the Summer Street @ South Station stop has been relocated about 50 feet west, closer to the main entrance to South Station.
- Operations in the bus terminal should not be impacted, but riders will notice construction work as the expansion progresses.
The Pedal and Park facility on Atlantic Avenue will close at 12 PM on Friday, March 27. Any bikes left in the facility will be removed. Owners must contact the Transit Police at 617-222-1212 within 30 days to retrieve their bikes.
The existing bike shed is being closed and temporarily relocated. During this time, riders can park their bikes at the new bicycle racks near the existing Blue Bikes dock adjacent to South Station. The relocated bike shed is expected to open in spring 2020.
Once construction on South Station is complete, a new Pedal and Park facility will be located within the building, accessible from the Atlantic Avenue sidewalk just south of the train station entrance.
- The cab stand in front of the bus terminal will be relocated about 80 feet south.
- The cab stand by the Atlantic Avenue South Station entrance will be split into 2 for access to the construction zone.
- The passenger pick-up and drop-off zone located north of the Beach Street/Atlantic Avenue intersection on the east side of Atlantic Avenue will be relocated south of the intersection.
All entrances to South Station will remain ADA-accessible. Here's what you can expect at each entrance:
- Atlantic Avenue entrance: Access to South Station from the Atlantic Avenue entrance will be maintained throughout construction.
- Summer Street entrance: Starting in summer 2020, a construction zone will be established at the Summer Street entrance between South Station and 245 Summer Street (the Fidelity offices). In its place, the contractor will build an accessible ramp leading to the station.
- Dorchester Avenue access: There will be access to the South Station platform from Dorchester Avenue via a new walkway constructed between 245 Summer Street (the Fidelity offices) and the U.S. Postal Service building.
- Bus terminal access: Access to the bus terminal will be maintained through the current bus terminal entrance and Track 1 platform.
How This Work Will Improve South Station
Currently, the South Station rail terminal and bus terminal are 2 separate buildings, making connections between them inconvenient.
The completion of South Station Transportation Center improvements will create comfortable and convenient transfers to all modes of transit, with direct connections between the rail and bus terminal.
The outdoor concourse area will increase in size by 67% for an improved experience for riders and people passing through the station. The tracks and platforms will also be completely covered.
The new bus terminal will increase capacity by more than 50%. It will also provide more convenient connections to the Commuter Rail and subway.
Other improvements include:
- New escalators, stairs, and elevators between the bus terminal and main concourse
- New, indoor bike storage area
The air rights project will be completed in 3 stages.
The construction schedule is still being finalized. Please continue to check back for updates.
Night work will be necessary during this stage.
Three construction zones will be established in the first month of construction:
- Atlantic Avenue construction zone
- Summer Street construction zone
- Track 13 construction zone
The contractor will begin expanding the outdoor concourse area to create a temporary outdoor concourse that is 22% larger than the existing area to accommodate pedestrians and rail passengers throughout the project.
Some retail kiosks inside South Station will be relocated to help riders navigate the construction zones more easily.
Night work will be necessary from summer 2020 – winter 2021.
Work will begin on the expanded bus terminal and parking garage (which will be built over the tracks, platforms and outdoor concourse area). And crews will start foundation and structure work on the tower.
By summer 2022, the newly expanded bus terminal will be opened for public use with access from Atlantic Avenue through the existing bus terminal entrance.
Crews will build the mixed-use tower at South Station.
By summer 2024, the South Station Transportation Center improvements will be completed, including the architectural enhancements to the outdoor concourse area and the new escalators, stairs, and elevators providing passengers with direct access from the concourse to the bus terminal.
Construction schedules are subject to change due to weather and other factors.
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