Saturday, January 27, 2018

MVRTA: 16 (Washington Street/Westgate Plaza)

This will be our last time taking a local bus out of Washington Square, and I am totally okay with that. These Haverhill routes have all been pretty...well, mediocre and boring. The 16 continues that trend.

Our final picture here!
We went down Washington Street, travelling through downtown Haverhill - there were businesses everywhere. After going by the Haverhill Commuter Rail station, the road lost its downtown feeling, though it was still lined with a lot of dense apartments. Although there were some businesses here and there, it was very much a residential neighborhood.

A typical side street.
The houses got further apart as we continued further away from the center of Haverhill, and as Washington Street got more hilly, it started to feel more suburban. The road twisted north and we went by a middle school, but the rest was still houses until we turned onto Lowell Ave - there was an apartment development there. In fact, Lowell Ave had quite a few apartment developments, right up until we reached Westgate Plaza, the final stop on the route. On weekdays it continues up to the disgusting Haverhill Commons, though...for some reason.

The bus just before Haverhill Station.
MVRTA Route: 16 (Washington Street/Westgate Plaza)

Ridership: Well, it's the second-busiest Haverhill route, but we've discovered that that doesn't mean much. With 37,373 riders in 2015, the route managed to get 102 riders per weekday - hardly a high number!

Pros: This route serves some of the very dense neighborhoods to the west of Haverhill, and it does so in a perfectly straight line. No deviations or twisties on the 16, at least until the shopping plazas at the end. The route runs every hour on weekdays, and it even runs with a consistent 90-minute headway on weekends!

Cons: This is another Haverhill route with some extraordinarily long layovers on weekdays - 25 minutes, to be exact. That's a lot of time for a driver to just sit around in Haverhill doing nothing. Also, this is a fairly minor issue, but the snow route for the 16 is nothing like the actual route. I mean, it serves almost completely different neighborhoods, and it seems like it would be more efficient just to not run the route at all on snowy days - that would be just about as useful for its riders.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Westgate Plaza is all there is, and there's nothing special about it. It's fine.

Final Verdict: 6/10
A 6 seems to be the typical score for these Haverhill routes. Like I said at the beginning, most of them are just mediocre and boring. Yeah...I'm not exactly upset that I'm done reviewing these.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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