The bus got to the official "Design Center" stop, and the driver turned it off. He started to walk out, and then he looked back to see he had a passenger in the back of the bus. "Where are you going?" He shouted to me in a very angry voice. I decided to tell the truth and said I was just taking it for fun. "Oh, okay." He said. "I leave in four minutes." While the driver was outside smoking, I looked around at the scenery: a random parking lot, the Design Center, and the deserted cruise ship terminal.
The driver soon got back in the bus and we set off down Drydock Ave. On the left are even more random industrial buildings, and on the right is the massively long Design Center building - divided into separate buildings, apparently, as the stop names at this point are simply along the lines of "Building 55." Drydock Ave soon turns to the right, and the bus goes by some impressive tanks. It then turns onto "unnamed street," which runs only a few feet from the water with only a tiny fence in between. There was a lovely (kind of) view from here of some massive cranes. It's only for a few seconds, however, as the bus turns onto another unnamed road inland.
|This was taken a little before the bus turned onto the road by the water, but you can see how small that fence is.|
|I mean, look at those massive tanks!|
|I just realized why the conversions were made so quickly: it's the purple headlights. They're magic.|
Ridership: Like I said before, not many people were on the bus on a Saturday. I'm sure during rush hour, it's full of people who go to work in the industrial area, and I'll bet it gets its fare share of tourists coming from cruise ships (because nothing says "welcome to Boston" like a disgusting industrial area). On Saturdays - and presumably Sundays - this bus is empty.
Pros: It runs very frequently, however this isn't necessarily a good thing...
Cons: Now I know I'm being a massive hypocrite here. I know I often rant about buses not running frequently enough. However, those buses had more ridership than the SL2. Therefore, I don't see why the SL2 needs to run every 15 minutes on weekends and nights. Instead, run most of the buses to the airport (because they're always packed), and maybe every half hour or even hour, a bus could go around the Design Center loop. There's just no reason for so many buses to go to such a deserted area, at least on weekends. And it's not even that long of a walk to Silver Line Way - just 10 minutes! Seems useless to even have this bus running. Nonetheless, on weekdays the current schedule can be operated, as I'm sure it gets decent ridership during rush hour.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Industry. Big long buildings. Parking lots. Cruise ships. Beer. That's about it for this route.
Final Verdict: 3/10
Seems like the SL2 is the first "bad bus" featured on the blog! But really, it just feels so unnecessary. There is simply no need for it to run on weekends, or even exist, in my opinion. I'd imagine the sort of people who work down there can handle a 10 minute walk. The only thing keeping this from having a lower score is the fact that although it's completely unnecessary, the bus does run quite frequently, which is nice. But pointless.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
The MBTA is extending late-night service! In Spring 2014, subway trains and Key Bus Routes will run until 3 A.M. Also, the MBTA broke a ridership record in October, likely due to the World Series. Finally, from December 9-13, you can help children or teens in need by donating toys to Fill a Bus With Gifts. More information can be found here, although it's a PDF.