Sunday, April 6, 2014

Service Change: UMASS Boston Shuttle Route 1 (Again)

When I took the UMASS shuttle bus back in February, I really liked it, especially because of the amazing articulated buses used on the route. But Crystal Transport, the operator of the buses, recently failed a safety inspection as many of its drivers tested positive for drugs and alcohol. Now there are two companies running the buses: Paul Revere runs the 1 and 2, which connect to JFK/UMASS Station, and Academy Bus runs the 3, which goes to "Bayside," wherever that is.

My father and I would be taking the Paul Revere buses, as we were going from JFK/UMASS to the JFK Library. I was pretty excited at first, as Paul Revere runs the fantastic 712/713 bus. But...we had some issues. We were already kind of late for the event, and so we planned to get the first bus that came. First, a Paul Revere bus entered the station, let a bunch of people out, then just left before anyone could get on. Way to make a first impression...

Stupid bus.
Next an 8 came along. This one is actually the MBTA's fault: we were about to get on the 8, as that goes to UMASS, too, and the driver asked us where we were going. "The JFK Library," we responded. She told us to wait for a UMASS shuttle and drove off. Turns out the 8 actually stops at the library, but okay, fine. Then a weird coach bus came, and it was apparently going to UMASS. "Are you going to the JFK Library?" asked my father to that driver. "No," he replied. "There should be a bus behind me going there." Then he closed his doors and drove off. Well, there wasn't a bus behind him, but another coach bus came a little later. This wasn't going to the library either, but we figured we could walk from where it dropped us off.

This is a "special" bus, apparently.
It was fairly nice inside, with big comfy seats. It was also really dark, though. I tried to turn on one of the lights at a seat (it's like what you would find on an airplane), but it didn't work. This seemed like a pretty ancient bus in general. There were really fat TV's every few seats, but they weren't showing anything. There was also a bathroom at the back, but I think people can probably hold it for a 5 minute ride.

The interior, from the back of the bus.
I can't resist disgusting bathrooms.
Real cutting-edge technology here.
The walk ended up being about five minutes, so...not that long. I was really disappointed with my experience with Paul Revere. I know Crystal's drivers were drug addicts and drunkards, but they ran the buses much better than this. I know Paul Revere just started the service, but I really hope it gets better. And we saw an Academy bus running on Route 3 - it looked so much nicer, with electronic destination boards and everything. And the 3 is the one with the lowest ridership, to my understanding. Hey, maybe Paul Revere and Academy should just switch...

I don't know why it says "Charter," but the point still stands that this bus is nicer.

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