Sunday, December 31, 2017

BAT: Mini Maller Route 13 (Westgate Mall, Brockton)

Huh, apparently the Mini Maller doesn't use a minibus! It makes just as many deviations as a minibus would, but it does not in fact use one.

Well, well!
I boarded the bus at Market Basket, but we couldn't leave the mall until we served the other side of it, at Sears. With the deviations having been completed, we went up Westgate Drive and turned onto Campanelli Industrial Drive. Next, we turned onto Oak Street, which began with suburban businesses and housing developments but we soon entered a park.

Making a turn.
Next to a golf course, we turned onto Belair Street, a suburban road lined with houses. Eventually we reached an apartment building called Belair High Rise, which we had to deviate into. And then, as it turned out, this was part of a greater deviation: we had to return a ways down Belair Street in order to make our way onto Colonel Bell Drive. And within that deviation, we had another deviation into Sullivan Towers!

Within the Sullivan Towers deviation.
We headed back onto Belair Street for a block before turning onto Prospect Street. Next, we did a hairpin turn onto Pleasant Street, which we stayed on for a block before turning onto Wheeler Ave, then Malvern Road. This was a deviation to serve a tiny apartment complex.

The complex.
We came back up to Pleasant Street for a mere two blocks before turning onto West Street. This suburban road was mostly residential, although one side of it became occupied by yet another golf course - I had no idea Brockton had so many of them. Next, we did a triple-threat deviation, serving three shopping centers!

One of those deviations.
We made our way up to Torrey Street and ran down it, going by suburban houses on either side. After going under Route 24, we turned onto Pearl Street. It was residential for a while until the intersection with Pleasant Street, which had some suburban businesses and medical clinics. Once we turned onto Pleasant, though, it was all houses again.

A view of the neighborhood.
We turned onto Sumner Street, which stayed residential as we entered Stoughton. Finally, we deviated into Goddard Rehab and Nursing Company...and then it turned out that from Pleasant Street onward had been in itself a deviation! So we had to go allllllllll the way back down to Pearl Street, which we turned onto again.

Back on track finally.
Pearl Street was now residential with one side occupied by a cemetery. After merging with Route 27, we did yet another deviation into the Good Samaritan Medical Center. We headed down Oak Street from there, going under Route 24 before doing...come on, another deviation? Okay, okay, we had to go into a Walmart, but once we came back out, we only had to enter the Westgate Mall and the trip was over! Hooray!

At least it wasn't a minibus, I guess.
BAT Route: Mini Maller Route 13 (Westgate Mall, Brockton)

Ridership: The 13 seems to get incredibly low ridership for the BAT, with a mere 95 passengers per weekday and 99 per Saturday. Strangely, my ride bucked those trends, getting 20 people in the round trip versus the supposed average of around 12 per round trip. Maybe the 13's ridership has gone up?

Pros: I guess as a shopping circulator, it does its job well. It connects a bunch of housing developments to busy shopping centers, mostly catering to a senior crowd.

Cons: First, there's the obvious: man, this route makes a lot of deviations! Secondly, we have the issue of the schedule - the route runs every hour on weekdays and Saturdays, but the problem with that is that it doesn't time with other BAT routes serving Westgate Mall. I guess it's meant to be its own self-contained thing, but it can definitely be problematic for, say, people from Brockton trying to get to the Belair High Rise. Finally, and this one bugs me the most, the schedule puts Westgate Mall and Goddard Rehab as the two timepoints, but it claims that Goddard Rehab is halfway along the route, taking half an hour to get between each location. That simply isn't true! Goddard is far more than halfway, and buses get there anywhere from five to ten minutes "late."

Nearby and Noteworthy: Most of the route's independent sections consist of housing developments and medical centers - nothing exciting.

Final Verdict: 5/10
It's hard to get too worked up about this one, but it definitely has its problems. It's deviatory as heck, it doesn't time with other BAT routes, and its schedule doesn't conform to reality, but you know, it gets some riders and it's an important circulator for residents of western Brockton. I'll let it go with a 5.

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