Sunday, February 16, 2014

Service Change: UMASS Boston Shuttle (Route 1)

When I heard we taking the train to JFK/UMASS to go to the JFK Library for a school trip, I got pretty excited. When I heard we would be taking a non-MBTA shuttle bus from JFK/UMASS to get to the library, I got really excited. Keep in mind, however, that this was a school trip, and often my classmates or teachers would get into the pictures. This is more for the upcoming JFK/UMASS post, but there are a few times it happens here.

I was very surprised to see that the bus was articulated. How could a university shuttle bus get enough ridership to justify articulated buses? But then again, I was also relieved as there were a hundred kids who would be cramming on this thing...

The bus at JFK/UMASS, with a light snow falling.
Let me just make it clear here that this shuttle is completely FREE!!! You don't even need a student ID like you need for the Harvard shuttle buses. The inside of our bus was absolutely beautiful. Big, poofy, seats (no reclining, unfortunately, but you can't have everything) lined the bus, and I'm sure they were very comfortable. I wouldn't know, as I had to stand. At least I didn't get stuck in the bendy part like my friend did, though he said it ended up being kind of fun.

This was taken after most of the people had gotten off.
Leaving JFK/UMASS with a full load, we made our way to William T. Morrissey Boulevard (making some really sharp turns for an articulated bus!), which parallels I-93. We passed the building for the Boston Globe (I received sarcastic responses when I excitedly pointed it out), and soon after turned onto Bianculli Boulevard, entering UMASS. There was a nice view along here of Dorchester and, in particular, that big rainbow gas tank.
This picture was harder to take than it looks...
There was a lot of construction on University Drive East. The bus went around a small loop, and a few people got off; this was the main campus stop. As we were going to the JFK library, we went to the next stop, which is actually right in front.
You can see the back portion in this picture at the library.
After visiting the library, we went over to the university cafeteria and had lunch. The bus that came to pick us up from there actually wasn't articulated, so our large group had to split up. It was a cool hybrid bus, though, and was again nice and quiet on the inside.

They have these nice signs telling you where each route goes.
There's some construction going on behind the bus.
The interior of the hybrid bus was much like the articulated bus, only not articulated.
For some reason, this bus omitted the JFK Library stop, instead going through the UMASS sports complex on University Drive North. It then went back onto William T. Morrissey Boulevard and back to the station.

No automatic stop announcements here. Just this sign, represented here by an awful, blurry picture.
Another view from Bianculli Boulevard.
A few notes about the UMASS shuttle buses: there are three routes in total, but only one operates on weekends. This is the 2, which to my understanding follows the same route as the 1 but makes more stops. It runs a consistent schedule of every 20 minutes every day. The 1 runs weekdays only, but every five minutes during the day and every 10 minutes at night - so basically, there's much more frequent service to the Red Line on weekdays than on weekends. There's also the 3, which takes a much different route than its counterparts. This one goes to the UMASS Bayside Lot, which is located north of the main campus. It runs every five minutes weekdays only during fall and spring (which may be a lie, as I saw a few 3s on our trip), and although the Bayside Lot is fairly close to the train station, this route doesn't stop there. But hey, it's free, and that's what counts, right?

Here are some of the miscellaneous pictures I took:

A hybrid bus running on the 3.
A normal diesel bus running on the 3 (what happened to fall and spring, UMASS?).
A wild MBTA bus, seen in its natural habitat.
Actually, I would assume that's its natural habitat in the background there.
I kept seeing these buses everywhere and I wasn't sure what they were. They didn't seem to be official UMASS buses.
A 1 that we didn't actually ride.
The view from the JFK Library, shown here just because it's so beautiful.
Like I said, absolutely beautiful.

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