Kendall/MIT is an underground rapid transit station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It serves the MBTA Red Line, Located at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, it is named for the primary areas it serves - the Kendall Square business district and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Opened in March 1912 as part of the original Cambridge Subway, Kendall/MIT has two side platforms serving the line's two tracks. The Kendall Band, a public art installation of hand-operated musical sculptures, is located between the tracks in the station with controls located on the platforms. Kendall/MIT station is fully handicapped accessible.
Outbound platform with historic timeline and images from nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Location||Main Street at Broadway|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Connections|| MBTA Bus: CT2, 64, 68, 85|
|Bicycle facilities||58 spaces|
|Opened||March 23, 1912|
|Passengers (2013)||15,433 (weekday average boardings)|
The Cambridge Subway opened from Park Street Under to Harvard on March 23, 1912, with intermediate stops at Central and Kendall. From the early 20th century through the 1970s, the MBTA operated a powerhouse above ground in Kendall Square, including rotary converters (also called cycloconverters) to transform incoming AC electrical power to 600 volts DC power fed to the third rail to run the subway. An old-fashioned cycloconverter consisted of an AC motor coupled to a huge, slowly rotating flywheel coupled to a DC generator, hence the name. Despite the development of compact low-maintenance semiconductor-based power rectifiers, the long-obsolete electromechanical technology still occupied prime real estate in the heart of Kendall Square. The MBTA powerhouse was demolished, and replaced with an office building located at the convergence of Broadway and Main Street.
Name changes and reconstructionEdit
The MBTA has renamed the station on several occasions. On August 7, 1978, the station was renamed as Kendall/MIT to indicate the nearby presence of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On December 2, 1982, Columbia station was renamed JFK/UMass, and Kendall/MIT was renamed as Cambridge Center/MIT after the adjacent Cambridge Center development, although most station signs were not changed.
There were many complaints that the MBTA had suddenly changed the name without public input, and that the new name would be confused with the next Red Line station at Central Square. On June 26, 1985, the name was reverted to Kendall/MIT.
During the 1980s, the MBTA rebuilt Kendall/MIT and other Red Line stations with longer platforms for six-car trains and with elevators for handicapped accessibility. The rebuilt station was dedicated in October 1987 and six-car trains began operation on January 21, 1988.
Between 1986 and 1988, artist Paul Matisse installed Kendall Band, an interactive musical sculpture, at Kendall/MIT. Located between the Red Line tracks at the station, it cost $90,000 to construct under the Arts on the Line program. It consists of three musical devices - Pythagoras, Kepler, and Galileo - controlled by levers located on both subway platforms. Although Matisse maintained it for several decades, it ultimately fell into disrepair. A group of MIT students began restoration in 2010, with Pythagoras rendered partially functional in May 2011.
Kendall/MIT Station was a proposed stop on the Urban Ring Project. The Urban Ring was to be a circumferential Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line designed to connect the current radial MBTA rail lines, to reduce overcrowding in the downtown stations, but it was canceled around 2006. Under draft plans released in 2008, new surface-level BRT platforms would have been constructed on Main Street at Kendall/MIT.
In 2012, the state studied the feasibility of sending some Framingham/Worcester Line trains to North Station via the Grand Junction Railroad, including the possibility of a new commuter rail station at Kendall. The possible station would have consisted of a single platform between Main Street and Massachusetts Avenue, and was estimated to cost $7.5 million. After objections from the City of Cambridge over potential traffic problems due to the grade crossings on the Grand Junction, the MBTA declined to pursue implementation of the proposed service. In 2014, it was revealed by the state that the stop would be part of the proposed Indigo Line system with frequent DMU service, but that plan was canceled in 2015 for financial reasons.
A 2019 report indicated that daily boardings at the station would double to 30,000 by 2040, increasing the need for relief service on the Grand Junction and other corridors.
- CT2 Sullivan Station - Ruggles Station via Kendall/MIT
- 64 Oak Square - University Park, Cambridge or Kendall/MIT via North Beacon Street
- 68 Harvard/Holyoke Gate - Kendall/M.I.T. via Broadway
- 85 Spring Hill - Kendall/M.I.T. Station via Summer Street & Union Square
The EZRide Cambridge - North Station private shuttle service stops at Kendall at all times. Although not part of the MBTA system, it is open to the general public and is shown on MBTA maps.
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