Thursday, October 23, 2014

97 (Malden Center Station - Wellington Station via Commercial and Hancock Streets)

I initially went to Wellington just because I wanted to see the fantastic view from the parking lot again. However, I took a casual look out the window and went "Ooh, bus!" So that's the exciting story of how I ended up on the 97.

Good to see an MBTA bus again.
We left the busway and turned onto Revere Beach Parkway, going over the Malden River. But at the rotary, we left all the other routes by turning onto Mystic View Road, then again into the Gateway Center. This seemed like a pretty small, ugly mall, but a lot of people got on here (a few even got off!). After that, we went back onto Mystic View Road, and, after a few minutes of traffic, got back onto Revere Beach Parkway.

The view of the Malden River was nice, but I was a bit late.
We went over some train tracks, and then around another rotary onto Broadway. There were some houses dotted in between the many small businesses on this street, but by Everett Square it was all the latter. Soon we turned onto Hancock Street, which had some small apartments and then just houses. Then we turned down Belmont Street (more houses), Main Street (mostly houses, with a few apartments), and then Medford Street (with, you guessed it, houses) in quick succession.

I wish I could remember/find where this was, because that's a pretty nice view.
After a short time on Medford Street, we turned onto Canal Street, which, after paralleling a trail for a bit, became industrial. Then we turned onto Charles Street, and then Commercial Street, where the Malden skyline loomed. We pulled into the Malden Center busway a few minutes later.

The bus getting ready to go back to Wellington.
Route: 97 (Malden Center Station - Wellington Station via Commercial and Hancock Streets)

Ridership: Surprisingly high: 41 people. Obviously no one took this from beginning to end; Everett Square acted as a halfway point where the people coming from Wellington were all gone and people started to feed in to go to Malden Center.

Pros: The bus serves a few residential areas in between the "main lines" with lots of routes running on them. It's also the only MBTA bus to serve the Gateway Center full time, though I believe the 99 also goes there on Saturdays.

Cons: This schedule is awful! It's every half hour during rush hour, and then every hour weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. And the service hours only go from 6 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, and 10 AM to 7 PM weekends, This is pretty darn limited.

Nearby and Noteworthy: We went by a lot of businesses, but as usual I have no idea which ones were better than others.

Final Verdict: 5/10
This bus serves a lot and gets pretty high ridership, but that schedule drags it down. This is pretty much every hour all the time, which doesn't seem like enough. They could at least make it start a little earlier and end a little later on weekends.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
The MBTA has awarded its contract to build new Red and Orange Line trains to a Chinese company. Also, we can finally track the Green Line! ...on its above ground sections, at least.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 7 - The F, G, N, Q, and R (Including the Highest Elevated Train Station in the World)

"Gosh, Miles, why would you put so many lines in a single post?" Well, blog reader, it pays to check the MTA website beforehand to see what service changes (no pun intended) are in effect on weekends. As you'll see in the post, we ended up taking a lot of pointless train rides just because of weekend service changes. It all started with a trip to Smith - 9 Streets...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 6 - The Q44 (Between Jamaica, Queens, and Bronx Park South)

As you may be able to tell, this is a long route. The Bronx Zoo to Jamaica is a pretty large distance, and therefore gets a lot of ridership that necessitates using articulated buses. The buses are fairly new and nice, yet they still don't have automatic announcements! Get your game on, New York! I couldn't understand what the driver was saying for the life of me! Anyway... getting off the 7 at Flushing - Main Street, we found we had just missed a Q44. Luckily, it still runs about every 10 minutes on Sundays, so another bus came soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 5 - The J (Nassau Street Local)

Though it was elevated almost the whole way, this was not a very nice ride. We went through some pretty bad neighborhoods on the J that were really badly maintained: graffiti, abandoned buildings, total wreckages of buildings. There was a nice view over the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan, but that came much later...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 4 - Jamaica Station

This was such a cool station that I decided to dedicate an entire post to it! Jamaica is the hub of the Long Island Railroad, has a connection with the Airtrain to JFK Airport, and has a subway station (with the overly long name of Sutphin Boulevard - Archer Ave - JFK Airport) served by the E and J lines. In fact, it's one of the busiest railroad stations in the world, with over 200,000 daily boardings and over 1,000 trains passing through every day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 3 - The 7 (Flushing Local)

When Googling which New York subway line is the most scenic, I ended up on some forum. Everyone said to ride either the 7 to Flushing or the F/G to Smith/9 Streets, and we decided to do the 7 (though we did Smith/9 Streets on my more recent trip to New York - post on that coming soon!). The line is nicknamed the "International Express" because of all the ethnic neighborhoods it passes through, as well as the fact that it served the 1964-65 World's Fair. It only has five underground stops before going elevated the rest of the way to Flushing. And it's a really fun ride, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Service Change: NYC, Part 2 - The E, S, 4, and 6

We took some interesting elevated lines on our trip to New York, but we also took a lot of underground lines. This is a post that covers all of the trips we made in the boring subterranean world.
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