Sunday, August 19, 2018

The End of milesonthembta.com...

Why is milesonthembta.com ending? Because we're moving to a new domain! Yes, in less than 12 hours, I will be driving down to Philadelphia to begin my college career at the University of Pennsylvania, and with that change comes a new website: Miles in Transit. I'll still be doing Miles on the MBTA content on there (don't worry, my backlog is huge), but there will also be the inevitable Miles on SEPTA to start working on!

So check out the new website, give as much feedback as you like (it's a work in progress), and take a look at a new video I've posted on there! It's a good one. And from this point on, all new content will be on Miles in Transit, but I'll make that obvious by changing the names on social media and everything. Thanks for reading for all this time, and join me as I take a major step in my life, along with this major step in the blog.

Friday, August 10, 2018

RIPTA: 58 (Mineral Spring/North Providence)

We previously reviewed one of RIPTA's only crosstown routes. The 29 was a pure crosstown, darting in and out to serve as many places as possible while cutting across practically every southern RIPTA route. Now, this one is a little different. The 58 is trying to be a crosstown, but it's also trying to be a radial route to Providence. It doesn't work.

 Peeking out from behind a car.
Now, the 58 doesn't actually begin at Kennedy Plaza. It starts south of the plaza, at the Rhode Island Hospital. This is a preliminary step to creating the Downtown Transit Connector, but that's still pretty far off, so it's just...a one seat ride to the hospital at the moment, I guess. The route was "detouring" to the building's front door (although it usually doesn't), and from there, we did a loop to get onto Eddy Street.

A big ol' parking lot.
There was some undeveloped land for a bit after we went under I-95, but then we entered the up-and-coming Jewelry District. We went through another piece of vacant land north of that, then we turned onto Dorrance Street. This took us into downtown Providence proper, and we were soon picking people up at Kennedy Plaza.

When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown.
From the Plaza, it was a left onto Kennedy Street, and we crossed the Woonasquatucket River on this. After doing a very slight deviation to serve Providence Station, we headed out onto Park Row, going over the Moshassuck River. We were now on the East Side as we turned onto North Main Street, passing green space on one side and dense houses on the other.

Crossing a river.
We went over the Moshassuck River a second time when we merged onto Mill Street, passing a few different types of buildings as the wide road split into two when it went under I-95. We passed a post office and went over the Northeast Corridor, then we went by some big box stores before the neighborhood turned to be mostly residential. At Hopkins Square, a triangular-shaped park, we took a left onto Branch Ave, beginning our independent section.

I can see Walmaht!
Branch Ave went under Route 146, then it was mostly residential, but we also went by an old factory converted into shopping...sorta. Our independent section ended when we merged with the 50 on the industrial Douglas Ave. And, just like the 50, we had to do a wonderful deviation into Shaw's via the residential Lubec Street.

Part of the Shaw's shopping complex.
Well, that was a great deviation. We came back onto Douglas Ave afterward, but we left it soon by turning onto Mineral Spring Ave, going independent again. It's worth noting that we took a left on Mineral Spring, as most service does, but on one trip, the route takes a right and just kinda...ends at Route 146. Yeah, I don't know.

Some suburban development.
Mineral Spring Ave was suburban businesses for a while, and in the middle of that is where Saturday service just...kinda ends. Well, weekday trips go on for much longer, but the road became lined with houses instead of retail. At least, that was until Centredale, the downtown of North Providence. Weirdly, though, instead of serving the main street, we instantly used Centredale Bypass to get onto Waterman Ave out of the center. Oh well...better than deviating?

At least we got to see a few Centredale businesses.
Waterman Ave was a little weird. There was reasonable density along it, but it tapered off almost immediately past the road, devolving into woods within two blocks or less on either side. Entering Smithfield, we came up alongside a huge old factory, turned onto Esmond Street, and crossed the Woonasquatucket River.

A typical street out here.
Esmond Street consisted of more houses until it entered the woods for a little while. We left the forest by turning onto Putnam Pike, a road full of suburban businesses. It took us over I-295, and right after that, we pulled into our final stop: Smithfield Crossing, one of the more upscale strip malls in the RIPTA service area. Exciting.

Starting the trip back. Once again, a car blocks the bus.
RIPTA Route: 58 (Mineral Spring/North Providence)

Ridership: The ridership on the 58 is most certainly low. There was just one single person who took the bus on one of its independent sections - everyone else could've used a different bus. That means that it's basically just a whatever-comes-first situation, and the 58 is infrequent enough that it's often not going to be the one that comes first.

Pros: I appreciate any efforts to create crosstown services in Rhode Island, because there aren't enough of them. The 58 tries its best.

Cons: Unfortunately, that's not good enough. The 58 is trying to be a radial route into Providence at the same time, and all that ends up doing is making it circuitous and duplicative of other routes. It doesn't help that it only runs every hour, Monday through Saturday, especially when the routes it's paralleling are much more frequent.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Hey, Smithfield Crossings did actually seem like a nice mall. The bus only goes there on weekdays, though!

Final Verdict: 3/10
I don't see much value in the 58 as it currently stands. Instead of this pseudo crosstown service, why not have a real crosstown service? I think it would be great to have a route running down Mineral Spring Ave from Pawtucket to North Providence, and then on to Smithfield Crossing. That way, the 73 could also be eliminated and its resources could go somewhere else. Maybe something like this, although it might be worth it to, say, deviate into Shaw's along the way. Just a thought.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
I'm sad to announce that the MBTA Jamboree is cancelled. We just didn't get enough responses to be able to make it work. Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey, and hopefully we'll be able to do something like it another time.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Join us for the MBTA Jamboree!

Many of you ride the T almost every single day. But you've never ridden it like this before. On Saturday, August 18th, we will be embarking on a huge tour of the entire system, and YOU can join us! Here's the rundown: everyone will be split into teams, and we will all be given a list of challenges worth various point values. Some of them will be easy, like utilizing the Winter Street Concourse or riding the SL3 on its Chelsea busway section. Others will be harder, such as riding all five rapid transit lines in 30 minutes or maintaining a continuous hum between teammates on the ride from JFK/UMass to North Quincy. Ever wanted to sing "Sweet Caroline" in unison with other people at Park Street? That's a challenge, too!

These will all be worth different point values, and the teams will compete throughout the day to get the highest score. Any challenge can be completed in any order by any team. There will be surprises throughout the day, as well...

Here's the tentative timeline of what to expect:
  • Friday, August 10th - all form responses due
  • Monday, August 13th - all participants are notified of their teams and everyone's contact information. The list of challenges is released, and it is up to the teams to do however much preplanning they want to do.
  • Saturday, August 18th - all participants will meet at 9:30 AM at Park Street. The day will finish at around 6:30 PM. We will have lunch in the middle of the day. If you don't think you can stay for the whole day but you still want to come, submit a response anyway, and we'll try to make accommodations.
And here's the form! We're looking to get as many people to sign up as possible, so go, go, go! It's going to be a really fun day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

RIPTA: 29 (Cowesett/Kent County)

Okay, so we have this bus system, see? It's pretty good for getting into Providence, see? But what if you wanna get across to somewhere other than Providence? Let's just create a route that runs across the entire system in the south! It'll be a beast. It'll take forever to do a trip. We'll call it the 29.

And there it is!
Okay, turned out it had to make a layover first. But it eventually came back, and it was time to go! We ran up Bald Hill Road through the woods for a tiny bit before turning onto Ginsu Way, then Quaker Lane. This served two purposes: turning the bus around after serving Cowesett Corners, and serving the Kent County Courthouse.

Waiting to make a left turn on Bald Hill Road.
We returned to Bald Hill Road, although it was now called Quaker Lane, then we turned onto Cowesett Ave. This was lined with suburban businesses with parking lots, but there were dense houses once we turned onto Main Street (as well as some smaller retail buildings). We crossed the Pawtuxet River and passed more houses on the other side, but things were getting denser as we got closer to Arctic Center.

A hilly intersection.
We came into Arctic Center proper, where Main Street became lined with businesses on both sides. We also joined the 13 here. The center was quick, though, and soon we were just passing dense houses again. Now, the 29 usually has a deviation right around here, but because of bridge construction, it became a jog instead. Yes, it's time for a crazy detour route!

Some houses on a dead-end street.
Thus, instead of just going right over the Pawtuxet River, we turned onto Maple Ave, a hilly street lined with dense ol' houses. It reached its end and we turned onto Fairview Ave, which allowed us to go over the Pawtuxet River and arrive at Phenix, a little downtown centered around a common. What was the timepoint named after? The Phenix Hotel. Interesting.

An old factory getting redeveloped.
We turned onto Main Street, which went by some industrial buildings, some businesses, and some houses (so basically everything!). Crossing the Pawtuxet River on the bridge we were supposed to take the other way (it was only open in one direction), we returned to the main route by turning onto East Main Street. We then went around a roundabout onto Providence Street, once again crossing the Pawtuxet River and going by a redeveloped factory.

Going over the river.
After that, there were some houses, but it turned to suburban businesses quickly. We merged onto Toll Gate Road soon, then we turned onto Bald Hill Road. Yes, that's the same Bald Hill Road that Cowesett Corners way back at the beginning of the route is on. Yes, what takes 25 minutes by bus is only a four minute drive. Wonderful.

Gritty Bald Hill Road.
This huge street had a ton of suburban businesses with parking lots along it, and practically nothing else. It even got itself an unnecessarily wide median! We took this thing over the Pawtuxet River yet again, then under I-295. From there, it was time to deviate into the Warwick Mall. But wait...the Warwick Mall stop is way down at the opposite side of the parking lot. Would we have to deviate all the down there? Yes. Yes we would.

Stilllllllllllll going.
After that mess, we came out from the mall and made our way back onto Bald Hill Road, heading in the opposite direction. We went under I-295 and over the Pawtuxet River again (for the last time!), then we had to deviate into the Rhode Island Mall. Turned out that was easier said than done, thanks to Bald Hill Road's big median I mentioned before. We had to enter the mall parking lot north of the mall, then curve our way around to the actual stop.

Going through the mall.
Were the deviations done yet? Nope, we now had to do one to CCRI! So we went down East Ave for a bit, then we turned onto the road up to the community college. After making the stop outside of the most brutalist building ever, we had to go allllllllllll the way to the end of the parking lot, then take a road down a hill through the total woods.

Peak brutalism.
We finally turned onto Commonwealth Ave, then onto...Toll Gate Road. The same Toll Gate Road we were on before all this deviating. So...from that point to here was quite literally 22 minutes by bus...or a 9 minute walk. And just for fun, let's do it from Cowesett Corners to here! 53 minutes by bus...ten minutes driving. Even walking is faster, at 41 minutes! Yes, I know this whole area is ridiculously unwalkable, but I'm just saying, it's faster than the bus.

Leaving the college.
Luckily, the route would be a lot straighter from here. We passed Kent Hospital, and soon after, we went under I-95. There were some offices before we came to a roundabout, marking our entrance into the village of Apponaug. We looped around its "downtown" via Post Road, but I've never found it to be a very interesting place. It's mostly just suburban businesses and houses.

Well, at least there's a Walgreens!
We merged onto West Shore Road, going under the Northeast Corridor and heading into a mostly residential area. It was houses galore until we hit some suburban businesses at the intersection with Buttonwoods Ave, a transfer point for...oh, the 8x! Interesting! We were joined that route for a bit as the scenery went back to being residential, but once the businesses came back, the 8x turned onto Strawberry Field Road. Meanwhile, we merged onto Sandy Lane.

A generic side road.
There were a few apartments along here, but nope, it went back to being houses once again. This was until Warwick Ave, a commercial street that was also home to the 3 - excuse me, the 3B. We briefly joined it on Warwick Ave, but we left it on Church Ave soon after. This went back to being residential.

Water!
Church Ave ended and we turned onto West Shore Road, joining the 3A. It was still mostly houses, but there was some retail sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. We curved around toward Narragansett Bay, getting brief views of the water down the side streets. We were just entering a cute village called Conimicut when we turned onto Beach Ave, travelling for one block before reaching the final stop at a little park.

Out of service? Darn it!
RIPTA Route: 29 (Cowesett/Kent County)

Ridership: According to that ridership report I found from ten years ago, the route got less than 100,000 people in 2008. Assuming it still ran six days a week like it does today, that's about 333 people per day - not a lot of people. I actually think that's somewhat similar to what the ridership is like now, though; my ride got 25 people, and based on the number of trips this route has per day, it would add up to around 300-350 riders.

Pros: Well, you certainly can't say the 29 doesn't serve a lot! This gigantic route cuts across West Warwick and Warwick, which is a much longer distance than it sounds like because Warwick is a gigantic town. The 29 is also one of RIPTA's only crosstown routes, and they could honestly use more of them, but this is a start.

Cons: It's...so...long! You saw my time comparisons earlier in the review! This thing goes all over the place! Also, because a one way trip takes forever, the 29 can only run so frequently - how does every hour and a half, Mondays through Saturdays sound to you? Pretty bad? Yeah, I agree.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Most of the places on the route like the Warwick Mall or Conimicut are already served by routes out of Providence. As for the places that just the 29 serves...well, they're just not that exciting.

Final Verdict: 4/10
I gotta give it points for being a crosstown route in a very un-crosstown system, and the route certainly serves a ton, but that's about it. It's also infrequent and indirect, and those things count pretty badly against it. It's just hard to use a route that runs every hour and a half and looks like that.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

Sunday, July 29, 2018

RIPTA: 242 (West Warwick/Coventry Flex)

Gosh, it's too bad the 13 and the 29 end so far apart from each other. Seems like the only way to take each of them from beginning to end is to ride out and back. Hang on...what's this? A Flex bus in West Warwick and Coventry? And it connects the two routes together? Well, this is perfect!

The day before, Sam and I called up the Flex number. We used his phone this time, because we didn't want to confuse them any more than we already had. But I guess we called too late, because...they couldn't accommodate our request. The bus was already booked then. Darn it! So we pored over all the bus schedules again, found a new plan with different times that worked, and called back. Great, we were in now. Well, that was annoying!

We still had to wait a while after our 13 ride, since they couldn't accommodate us immediately after the trip. Well, we got to do a treacherous walk to Ocean State Job Lot from Woodland Manor. That was a blast. Once we got to Ocean State Job Lot, we wandered around until discovering the bargain books section, and some of the gems in there kept us entertained until it was time for the bus to show up.

Here comes the minibus!
We pulled out of the Ocean State Job Lot and made a left onto Tiogue Ave. It was mostly lined with suburban businesses with parking lots. We split off from the 13, which merged onto South Main Street, but here on Tiogue Ave, the businesses continued until we passed Tiogue Lake. After that, it turned to regular houses.

Along the lake.
Eventually, the suburban businesses made their return. Tiogue Ave became Main Street as we entered West Warwick, then it turned into Cowesett Ave when we were joined by the 29. There were houses along here for a bit, but nope, it was suburban businesses again soon enough. We pulled into Cowesett Corners, the end of our ride and the starting point for the 29.

Departing the parking lot.
RIPTA Route: 242 (West Warwick/Coventry Flex)

Ridership: Well, it's high enough that we had to change our darn plans for it! That could mean only one person was riding at that time, though - Flexes deal with very small numbers. There was actually someone already on the bus when we boarded, but I have no idea where she got on or where she got off, since she left after us.

Pros: It gets good ridership! Turns out that might as well be a con in this case, though...

Cons: Yeah, so this thing is too busy. Maybe it's because the Flex Zone is too big, spanning from the Warwick Mall to almost all of the town of West Warwick, and a decent amount of Coventry, too. There's even a spur of the zone that runs down one road as far as East Greenwich! Also, the whole zone (which is pretty dense in places) just isn't covered all that well by fixed route service (you won't find anything in these parts that runs more frequently than every 90 minutes), making the need for an on-demand service higher.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Most of the important locations this thing serves are covered by infrequent fixed route service from the Warwick Mall. I guess if you'd rather get to them by having to call 24 hours in advance (or in this case, probably greater than 24 hours in advance in you want to get the time you want), be my guest.

Final Verdict: 3/10
What's the solution here? Do we add more buses to the inherently inefficient Flex route, or do we create some sort of Warwick Circulator? I see the purpose the Flex is trying to serve, by connecting less dense residential areas to the huge shopping centers of Warwick, so I'm inclined to say just add buses to the Flex. Then again, if there are common origins and destinations on this thing (obviously, I have no idea), a fixed route with minibuses could be worth the investment. The point is that right now, it's practically unusable because it's one bus that has to deal with requests across this whole huge zone!

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

RIPTA: 13 (Coventry/Arctic/Warwick Mall)

For RIPTA standards, the 13 is about as far out as you can get on a local bus. In fact, this route goes so far out that it doesn't even go to Providence! That's right, we had to get this thing from the Warwick Mall. Boy, I sure do love that bus stop in the middle of its parking lot.

Here it comes!
Not only is the stop in the middle of the parking lot, though, it's in the middle of the lot's south side. And of course, all the mall exits are to the north, so we got to go alllllll the way up Lambert Lind Highway just to get out of there! It became Oaklawn Ave quickly, and it was lined with gross suburban businesses and huge parking lots.

Ech.
Suddenly, we turned onto an on-ramp to Route 2, a pseudo highway, and had a brief express section, but we took the first exit onto New London Ave. This was a much different environment: all suburban houses, save for a brief bit when we went over I-295, a proper highway. At that point, we also departed the town of Warwick to enter the town of West Warwick.

Some of the houses.
With the town change, we were now on Providence Street. The houses were starting to feel a little more urban, and there were some signs of retail and industry. We went over the Pawtuxet River, then we were joined by the 29 at the intersection with Toll Gate Road. There were more and more businesses and industrial buildings between the houses as we continued.

The rainy river.
We went over the Pawtuxet River again, passing some old mills and factories that have been converted to apartments. We merged onto East Main Street at a roundabout, and when that ended, we turned onto normal Main Street. It was still mostly houses, but there was also an apartment building, a pizza joint, and a library.

Feels a bit industrial here.
But soon, the street became lined with businesses. Why? Because we were now in Arctic Center! We left the 29 by turning onto Washington Street, where it still felt town center-y for a few more blocks. Once we left the downtown, the road turned back to being lined with suburban houses.

An unfortunate gap between two buildings in Arctic Center.
We merged with West Warwick Ave, marking our entrance into Coventry. There were now a few other types of buildings along the road, mostly businesses and industrial buildings. We curved along the Pawtuxet River for a bit before Washington Street left its shoreline. Soon after going by a cemetery, a police station, and a historical house-museum, we turned onto South Main Street outside of a shopping plaza, crossing the Pawtuxet River again.

A narrow side street.
It was more suburban houses along here until we merged onto Tiogue Ave. This wide road featured anything but houses, and everything along there had to have a parking lot. The route misses a Stop & Shop just before the merge, but it makes up for it by deviating into an...Ocean State Job Lot. Huh. Yeah, that's an interesting one to deviate into.

A house at the end of a short street.
We returned to the main road, which was getting increasingly middle-of-nowhere. We wouldn't be on it much longer, though, because we turned off into Woodland Manor, an apartment complex. The bus had to wait for a small layover before it could actually serve the complex, and that was a little weird, but we got off in the middle of the complex, ending the trip.

Back to the mall!
RIPTA Route: 13 (Coventry/Arctic/Warwick Mall)

Ridership: I finally found some sort of document that kinda shows RIPTA ridership! It's from 2008, so it's horrendously outdated, but it's the best we've got. It shows the 13 as getting around 225,000 riders over the course of the year, which works out to...wow, 616 people per day? Really? That's pretty weird, considering my weekday trip only got four people, and none beyond Arctic Center. Now I'm confused.

Pros: The 13 serves a very underserved part of Rhode Island. It only connects to the Warwick Mall, but out where the 13 goes, there's probably a lot less demand to go to Providence. If one does want to go to Providence, service from the Warwick Mall is fairly frequent, and passengers shouldn't have to wait too long there.

Cons: This thing never comes. It runs every 50 minutes at rush hour, but then at all other times...every hour and forty minutes. So, basically, completely unusable. Heck, if it was every two hours, at least the timing would be consistent! And the ridership (at least in 2008) is nothing to sneeze at, making the infrequent schedule even more annoying! Then again, my trip only had four people, so maybe ridership has gone down?

Nearby and Noteworthy: Arctic Center is the best thing you'll get, but even that won't last you for longer than about half an hour, unless you get something to eat.

Final Verdict: 3/10
There are two ways to go with this one: either the ridership is as high as it is, in which case the route is way too infrequent for its own good, or the ridership is lower, in which case the 29 duplicates a lot of the inner (and seemingly busier) section of this route - not a soul went on the 13's independent section on my ride. I dunno...I think I need proper ridership numbers to really give a verdict here.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

Saturday, July 21, 2018

MVRTA: 41 (Lawrence - Lowell)

Isn't it sad how the only bus that runs in Lowell on Sundays isn't even run by the Lowell bus system? Yes, today we're checking out the MVRTA 41, doing its multi-jurisdictional trip from Lawrence to its milltown cousin to the west!

Tight quarters here at Buckley.
Of course the MVRTA has to board its busiest routes on the stupid tiny island in the middle of the Buckley Transportation Center. Argh. Well, we left the transit center on Essex Street, running past the businesses of downtown Lawrence. We soon turned onto Broadway, which had more retail along it.

Some of the businesses of Lawrence.
We turned onto Haverhill Street next, which took on an industrial bent. However, the road became residential quickly, and we were passing mostly houses except for a few retail clumps. As we entered Methuen. things started to get more suburban, culminating in the big ol' Merrimack Plaza. But the 41 is a long regional route, of course it wouldn't...deviate. Darn it, I stand corrected.

Lovely.
We made our way around the parking lot to get onto Burnham Road, which took us south to Riverside Drive; there, we took a right. There was a brief industrial section before it turned to suburban houses and we went under I-93. There were a few businesses at the intersection with Lowell Street, onto which we turned, but it went back to being mostly houses as we ran alongside the Merrimack River.

A little shopping area next to the river.
Among the other attractions we passed were a golf course and a go-kart track. There was a number of boathouses along here, as well as a few industrial buildings. And eventually, we more or less entered the woods! Once the road became Merrimack Ave, we entered Dracut.

This is pretty!
The forest was eventually broken by this catering place called Lenzi's. From there on out, we were actually going by some reasonably dense houses and businesses. One problem: Lenzi's is where the route's no-stop zone starts. That's right, one can stop the bus when it's going through the complete middle of nowhere, but once it enters civilization, that's it! No stops!

Bear in mind that the civilization was all on the other side of the road. To the left, it was just water!
We entered Lowell as the road curved past the city's water department, then we took an "exit" onto a roundabout, running around onto Nesmith Street. This went over the river, and we were now in a world of dense houses and apartments.We turned onto Merrimack Street, then High Street, then Church Street, which went over the Concord River.

Going over the Merrimack River, not the Concord!
For some reason, the 41 does a Lowell-bound-only deviation to the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, although it's more of a one-block jog. It just felt like a waste of time that didn't get the bus much closer to what it was trying to serve. We soon ended up on Middlesex Street, running past a few businesses but it was mostly just old factories. Finally, it was a left on Thorndike Street, and that took us to the Kennedy Center entrance.

Much better than Buckley! You can also tell I was here a while ago because the footbridge to that building hasn't been built yet in this picture.
MVRTA Route: 41 (Lawrence - Lowell)

Ridership: Again, I've got to use ridership data from 2006 here. In that year, the route got 217,864 riders, which is about 600 per day. That's pretty good, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's gone up since then! My trip had about 20 people.
UPDATE: An anonymous commenter sent me a ridership report with 2017 numbers, and they have indeed gone up - WAY up. The route got 281,547 passengers that year, or about 771 riders per day!

Pros: I absolutely love to see this kind of inter-agency route. And look how busy it is! The 41 also runs a great schedule, operating every half hour all day on weekdays, with hourly service on weekends.

Cons: Two things: the deviation in Lawrence that feels totally unnecessary (especially since the 35 serves it anyway, albeit via a more indirect route), and the weird no-stop zones in LRTA territory are...weird. First of all, the big one in Dracut is super annoying, especially since LRTA doesn't run any routes out that way. Those communities have a bus that runs straight through them, but no one can actually use it, presumably because it's in "LRTA territory" (correct me if I'm wrong). Also, the stopping situation in Lowell is strange, with random places where the bus can stop that sometimes correspond with LRTA stops and sometimes don't. It's just another reason why the MVRTA should just use fixed stops!

Nearby and Noteworthy: There isn't all that much between Lawrence and Lowell, but the two cities themselves are destinations.

Final Verdict: 8/10
The Pros-Cons ratio may look a little off here, but it's only because the no-stop zone thing is a very specific issue that I had to go into in detail. Honestly, this is an awesome route, going between two large cities and getting enough people to justify half-hourly weekday service! I'd love to see more routes like this in other places that transcend jurisdictional boundaries, and they seem to be increasing in number (such as more MWRTA routes to Woodland or the GATRA route to New Bedford).

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
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