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Dudley Station to be renamed Nubian Station

A passenger waited for a bus in a shelter at Dudley Station last week. The station will be renamed Nubian Station by the MBTA.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Roxbury’s Dudley Station will be renamed Nubian Station, according to the MBTA.

Members of the MBTA Station Naming Committee, comprised of representatives from five departments within the MBTA, recommended the name be changed, and Steve Poftak, MBTA general manager, accepted the recommendation, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

According to policy, members of the committee were required to consider whether the benefit of adopting a new name would outweigh the costs of changing the existing name, which would include the price and labor of altering signage, as well as the customer education and outreach involved with renaming a station.

In this case, they determined, it did.


MBTA policy also states that names should be clearly related to the area surrounding the station. For Dudley Station, that hadn’t been the case since Dudley Square was renamed Nubian Square in December.

“In the coming weeks and months, the MBTA will begin to update MBTA.com, station signage, MBTA system maps, and schedules,” said Pesaturo in a statement. “The transition process will take place on a rolling basis.”

The area, Roxbury’s primary commercial shopping district, was renamed after a November ballot question asked voters whether they would support the renaming of the square. Though voters citywide rejected the notion, Roxbury-area voters elected in favor of it.

Activists had been pushing for a name change for the better part of five years, claiming the moniker unjustly honors Thomas Dudley, a Colonial governor of Massachusetts with supposed links to slavery.

Once the square’s name was changed, activists sought the same for the station and for the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library.

No decision has yet been made about whether to rename the library, according to a library spokeswoman, who said the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees is responsible for naming the library’s spaces and branches.


“We will be scheduling a community meeting in the upcoming months to update Roxbury residents about several aspects of the 2020 reopening of this important branch,” said the spokeswoman, Lisa Pollack.

For some local businesses and organizations that still bear the Dudley name, the path forward remains unclear.

Many are left to grapple with the same question that faced the MBTA Station Naming Committee: undergo a potentially costly rebranding process, or maintain a name that is seen by many as problematic?