|Darn, I hate getting pictures where the destination board says "Via."|
Getting off of the highway for good at Exit 56, the bus got stuck in traffic in a forested area. The foliage broke at a massive farm with a store and parking lot. Soon after, the bus merges onto Mass Ave and the 62 bus (sort of a cousin to the 76). It runs along the by-now-suburban Mass Ave before coming into Lexington Center, which is a pretty major stop.
|Down on the farm...|
|It's just me, the driver, and those pieces of trash on the floor.|
It enters Hanscom Field, and makes a loop around the parking lot. The tiny planes are visible beyond a fence. No one got on here, and the bus went back onto Hanscom Drive. Along the way, we had to stop to let a group of turkeys cross the road. From there, the bus turned off of North Great Road onto "Old Massachusetts Avenue," and turned again onto Wood Street into a residential area. There is a clearing in the forest for a path for telephone wires, and then it gets suburban again.
"THIS IS A RESTRICTED AREA. PEOPLE WHO ENTER WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE CAPTAIN..." - Or something like that; I remember the word "captain" being in there - "...WILL BE PROSECUTED BY LAW. NO PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALLOWED. THIS AREA WATCHED BY SECURITY CAMERAS."
Whoops. Guess I'm not publishing the photo I took. There were around five people waiting at the stop who got on the bus. After laying over for a few minutes, we left again, heading back the way we came (with another interruption from turkeys crossing the road). The ride back was pretty much the same as the ride there, until we got close to Alewife Station. There was some pretty heavy traffic on Route 2 near Alewife Station, but luckily MBTA buses take the "Alewife Station" exit, rather than going around via Alewife Brook Parkway. We came into Alewife station and got off the bus to go our separate ways. Although the ride back wasn't that crowded, I looked back and saw a huge crowd of people waiting for the bus back out to Lexington and Bedford.
|Never seen the Alewife busway so crowded.|
Ridership: There were about 20 people on the ride to Bedford, and they all got on at Alewife. There was not a single person who got on anywhere else. This also applied to a lesser extent on the way back to Alewife, with most people getting off there, although there were a few that got off in local neighborhoods. The bus was mostly commuters going home on the way there (it was the PM rush). The way back also had commuters though, going home from the Lincoln Labs.
Pros: It's a fantastic ride, just because of the weird places the bus goes to. An airport for tiny planes, a super-secret lab, and two turkey crossings in one ride? Sign me up! Oh, and I suppose it also serves many areas that would otherwise not be served by bus, but that obviously doesn't matter, right?
Cons: The schedule is not the best. It runs every half hour during rush hours, and it runs every hour during the day. On Saturdays, it technically runs, but with a combined 62/76 service that omits part of the 76 route. It doesn't run on Sundays.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I love, love, love Lexington Center. It has a great suburban-center feel, it has a bunch of excellent small businesses, and is just a fun place to be in general.
Final Verdict: 8/10
This was definitely one of my favorite buses I've ever taken. I had so much fun going to the most far-out places (both literally and figuratively). It also serves a lot and seems to get decent ridership. Unfortunately, it has a terrible schedule, so I had to lower the rating slightly, but this was still a very fun ride.
Latest MBTA News: Service Alerts
Nothing much of note has happened, except that the winner of the MBTA map contest has been announced! Created by Mikheil Kvrivishvili, the new map is a major improvement over the old one: