|There was a lot of smoke billowing out of a sewer, as you can see in the picture. Just before the bus came, some people were even taking pictures in front of it!|
The bus does a figure-8 loop downtown involving lots of turns, so I won't get into too much detail. After Post Office Square, we headed up Congress Street, serving State and Haymarket. Inbound, I believe the 93 directly serves the Haymarket busway, but we just stopped at a street corner close to it (where a few people got off, surprisingly). Some early morning and late night buses short-turn here, as well.
From there, we followed the 111 route up North Washington Street and over the North Washington Street Bridge. But whereas the 111 would head up onto the Tobin Bridge, we turned right onto Chelsea Street. Now most 93 buses would directly turn onto Vine Street from Chelsea Street, but as this was a Navy Yard bus we went onto 5th Street instead. Unfortunately only the sails of the Constitution were visible, not the boat itself. I did get a picture of the U.S.S. Constitution museum, but that's not really the same thing (and the picture was terrible, anyway).
|Nice, but the Constitution would've been better.|
At about this time, there was actually another 93 that passed our bus. We had apparently been bunching, but as Bunker Hill Street is so narrow the other bus probably couldn't get by. It was a race in heavy traffic to get to the station, and the other bus ended up winning. But as we were pulling into the Sullivan Square busway, I noticed another 93 laying over. Would there really be three 93's leaving Sullivan at the same time? Apparently not - the bus ahead of us went out of service, and our bus became a 101. As I got off, I noticed the countdown clock said the train was arriving (the driver's a pirate!), and just as I rushed onto the platform it closed its doors. Darn.
|Hello, other 93!|
Ridership: Pretty heavy - all in all, about 40 people rode our bus. No one went from beginning to end, as you can probably expect; most people got off or on from their houses. There wasn't anybody who got on or off on the Navy Yard loop.
Pros: It's one of the two buses to serve Charlestown (the other being the 92), and this one cuts right through it. The schedule is also fantastic, running an amazing every 8 minutes rush hour, then every 20 minutes during the day, every half hour in the evening, and every 20 minutes on Saturdays. And there was definitely healthy ridership, which is reflected in the schedule. Finally, it's one of the very few local buses to actually go downtown, so that's definitely a plus despite the fact that the stop is impossible to find.
Cons: Every 40 minutes on Sundays isn't so hot. And actually, I think it's unnecessary to serve the Navy Yard. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the ride, but nobody got on or off there.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The typical Charlestown historical stuff: the U.S.S. Constitution, easily accessible even without the Navy Yard routing, and the Bunker Hill Monument, which is just a little closer to the 93 than it is the 92.
Final Verdict: 8/10
Direct service from downtown to Charlestown is pretty great, especially since the Orange Line used to serve it (but now obviously doesn't). I believe the 92 more closely follows the route of the original EL, but the 93 cuts right through Charlestown. The schedule's great for the most part, but the Sunday schedule could use a bit of work - every half hour or even every 20 minutes would be much better, especially if the Sunday ridership is anything like the ridership I saw. I personally don't feel the Navy Yard routing is necessary, though; does anyone actually use it? Leave a comment if you know. But overall, a pretty excellent route.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates (I've been forgetting to include this for a while!)
Nothing much has developed in the last few days, unfortunately.