|Yup, makes perfect sense.|
|There's some nice fall foliage in the background.|
|Nice view from the Hancock Street bridge.|
We then turned onto Dorchester Ave, and then again into the Park Street busway. I'm surprised that they actually put a busway here, considering how close to Fields Corner it is. There were some businesses here, as well as a mall. We went up Geneva Ave, then onto another busway that for some reason went right next to Fields Corner without any stops. The busway made a u-turn around the station, and the actual stop was on the other side.
|No Quincy Station? What happened to it?|
We continued onto Granite Ave, which was residential. I could see the bridge that the 215 uses to get over the Neponset River, but we turned off just before it onto Hill Top Street. There was a nice park on one side of the street with a playground and houses on the other. Soon we went back into the Keystone Apartments parking lot, actually picking someone up this time, then went back up Hallet Street.
|Interesting view in the Keystone Apartments parking lot.|
Ridership: It was pretty quiet, being a Sunday. There were exactly eight people who rode in each direction, many using the route for local service. Fields Corner and North Quincy, the two subway connections, weren't that busy, with only a few people getting on and off at each.
Pros: The two routes serve that awkward area in between the Ashmont and Braintree branches. It's nice that buses go in both directions on the loop, so people don't have to take really circuitous trips like they might if the loop was one way. The 201 provides most morning rush hour service, while the 202 covers the evening rush; both go about every 15 minutes during those periods, which is pretty good. Midday is about every 20 minutes between the routes, and night service is every half hour, provided exclusively by the 201, until 1 in the morning. On Saturdays, the routes run about every 25 minutes together. So overall, not a bad schedule. I also had a really nice driver, whom I was talking to throughout the entire ride, but that doesn't affect the score of these routes.
Cons: Sunday service is every 45 minutes, which isn't great, but there wasn't enough ridership to justify higher frequencies. I also wish the routes were more decisive about whether they want to serve North Quincy or not. It would be nice if it was more consistent, and I think it's a decision that wouldn't affect ridership too much. My main issue is that these routes seem way more confusing than they have to be. I don't know whether it's the routes themselves or just the way they're drawn on the map, but something has to be done about this. Perhaps a map redesign is in order...
Nearby and Noteworthy: There were a few businesses along the route, the most prominent of which being at the intersection of Adams Street and Gallivan Boulevard.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Honestly, I thought I would be giving these a much lower score when I started this review. But it turns out that these buses are pretty good after all. They serve what they need to serve, and get the job done with fairly frequent service. But really, someone has to take a stab at making that map less confusing.
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