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State (MBTA station)

Outbound Blue Line train at State
Location 200 Washington Street,
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Owned by MBTA
  Blue Line
Platforms 4 side platforms (2 on each level)
Tracks 4 (2 on each level)
Platform levels 2
Disabled access
Opened December 30, 1904 (Blue Line)
November 30, 1908 (Orange Line)
Rebuilt 1924 (Blue Line)
April 26, 2011
Previous names Devonshire (1904–1967)
Milk/State (1908–1967)
State/Citizens Bank (1997–2000)
State/Aquarium (2004)
Passengers (2013) 13,258 (weekday average boardings)[1]
Preceding station   MBTA   Following station
toward Forest Hills
Orange Line
toward Oak Grove
toward Bowdoin
Blue Line
toward Wonderland
State (MBTA station) is located in Boston

State, well known as State Street, is a subway station of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, State is the transfer point between the Orange Line and the Blue Line.

What later became the Blue Line platforms of State station were opened in 1904, making it the oldest surviving MBTA rapid transit (heavy rail) station. (The Tremont Street Subway, opened in 1897, serves only Green Line (light rail) streetcars). After an extensive renovation which was completed in 2011, State is fully handicapped accessible.


  • History 1
    • East Boston Tunnel 1.1
    • Washington Street Tunnel 1.2
    • MBTA era 1.3
  • Station layout 2
    • Blue Line 2.1
    • Orange Line 2.2
  • Bus connections 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • Gallery 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


East Boston Tunnel

Plaque noting the completion and opening of the East Boston Tunnel, located at State
Old State House entrance to State, on the State Street side

The Blue Line section of the station was built along with the rest of the East Boston Tunnel in the first years of the 20th century and opened on December 30, 1904, serving streetcars running from downtown to East Boston.[2] An unusual aspect of State Street station is the entrance built directly into one of Boston's best-known historic sites, the Old Massachusetts State House. This entrance often confuses first-time tourists and visitors with its unconventional location. The East Boston Tunnel station was originally known as Devonshire after the street which the Old State House is located on. The station is the only remaining station on the tunnel opened in 1904.

Effective April 18, 1924, the East Boston Tunnel was converted to heavy rail (metro) rolling stock. High platforms were installed, and trolley wire was replaced with third rail power.[2]

Washington Street Tunnel

The Washington Street Tunnel opened on November 30, 1908 to Main Line elevated trains running between Forest Hills and Sullivan Square.[2] As with the other stations in the tunnel; the two platforms were treated as completely separate stations. The northbound platform was known as State since its main entrance was at the cross street of State Street, while the southbound platform was similarly Milk Street after its entrance from Milk Street. (The station pair was designated on some maps as Milk/State). State is unique among Orange Line stations as it was built on two levels to fit under the narrow section of Washington Street while crossing the East Boston Tunnel. The northbound platform is above (and staggered from) the southbound platform. Above ground, the station's exits are located between Government Center and the Financial District. After consolidation and reconstruction by the MBTA, all entrances serve both lines in all directions.

MBTA era

After taking over operations in 1964, the MBTA began rebranding efforts. The East Boston Tunnel/Revere Extension and Main Line El/Washington Street Tunnel routes were renamed as the Blue Line and Orange Line on August 25, 1965. On January 25, 1967, the separate station names of Devonshire and Milk/State were changed to State.[2]

Platform extensions on both Orange Line platforms were completed just prior to the introduction of 6-car trains on August 18, 1987. This change was prompted by the opening of new stations on the Southwest Corridor earlier that year, replacing 4-car-long stations on the Washington Street Elevated.

Blue Line level under construction in 2007

From 1997 to 2000, State was renamed State/Citizens Bank in a corporate sponsorship from Citizens Bank, who had recently moved to the area, and hoped to eventually have the name changed to simply Citizens Bank Plaza.[3] The sponsorship failed and the name reverted to State. During the renovation of Aquarium station, during which that station was closed, State was renamed temporarily State/Aquarium from October 14, 2000 to October 29, 2001.[2]

An extensive renovation of State began in 2005. New Charliecard fare machines were installed in 2006, which involved closing the Blue Line level of the station from June 24 to July 1.[2] In April 2011, the 6-year-long reconstruction of the station was declared substantially complete. The Blue Line platforms were connected to the already-accessible Orange Line platforms by ramps, thus making the entire station handicapped accessible. All other Orange Line stations are accessible, as are all Blue Line stations except Government Center and Bowdoin.

Station layout

Blue Line

Platform level Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Blue Line toward Bowdoin or Government Center (Government Center)
Northbound Blue Line toward Wonderland (Aquarium)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Ground - Exit/Entrance

Orange Line

Platform level Southbound Orange Line toward Forest Hills (Downtown Crossing)
Side platform, doors will open on the left
Northbound Orange Line toward Oak Grove (Haymarket)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Bus connections

In popular culture

  • In the 2013 video game The Last of Us (which has segments that take place in Boston), one scene is set in a dilapidated State Street station.[4]



  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.).  
  2. ^ a b c d e f Belcher, Jonathan (12 November 2012). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Suited to a T, Boston Business Journal December 19, 1997
  4. ^ Annear, Steve (4 February 2013). "MBTA Station Featured in New End-of-the-World Playstation Game [Photo]". BostInno. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 

External links

  • MBTA - State
  • Entrance in Old State House from Google Maps Street View
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