Sunday, November 16, 2014

GUEST POST: 64 (Oak Square - University Park, Cambridge or Kendall/MIT via North Beacon Street)

Here's a guest review of the 64 from Jordan King. It seems like a very interesting route:

Ever since I first saw the 64, I've always wanted to ride it. Why? I don't know, but I heard that this bus takes the craziest streets. So I decided to ride down to Kendall/MIT to see how crazy this route is.

The Ride: In order for me to go all the way to Kendall/MIT, I had to wake up at around 7 on a Friday morning. This is because during midday, evenings, and all day on the weekends, the 64 ends at University Park located about a mile away from Central Square in Cambridge, even though the destination display states that it ends at Central Square. (Kind of misleading, don’t you think?)
We departed Oak Square and already there were about 10 people on my bus. We headed down on Faneuil Street, seeing nothing but houses and apartments, until we picked up more people in Faneuil Square where there is a little grocery store and laundromat. Oh, and by the way, for the rest of the trip the amount of people on our bus got even more crowded due to the fact that it was a work week and this bus is always crowded even on weekends. Anyways…. We then made a left down a very narrow side street called Falkland Street on which the bus can barely fit. Then we made a narrow left turn on Brooks Street, again a very narrow side street. When I saw a car coming towards us, I figured the bus or the car would back down the street, but instead it made it around the bus. (Now I see why they call
this the craziest route!)

The route started to get interesting when the bus started picking up speed down Birmingham Parkway which then becomes North Beacon Street. Now we headed down past Market Street where passengers can connect to the 86 and from Market Street the bus is supposed to turn on Life Street according to the map I looked at. But when I asked the driver he said that there was construction and so he couldn't turn down Life Street making angry customers who wanted the stop by Stop & Shop even angrier. We then headed on Cambridge Street in Union Square (Not the one in Somerville!) where we picked up and dropped off several people. After we left Union Square the trip was pretty quiet as we crossed the Mass Pike and the Charles River into Cambridge. We then made a series of turns onto some more crazy side streets. Finally after a very long 20 minutes of sitting in traffic the bus finally pulled up to Central Square.

Now from here the bus would make a right on Mass. Ave to continue to University Park, but like I said earlier the bus continues to Kendall/MIT on weekdays. So we followed a 83 and a 91 bus down Prospect Street then made a right on Broadway following a 68 bus, and after an additional 10 minutes of traffic we finally arrived at our final destination: Kendall/MIT.

Fleet: Well, I know the 64 is dispatched from Charlestown so expect to see some RTS’s, New Flyer D40LF, and on some rare occasions a Neoplan AN440LF, but in the future I hope that I will see some XDE40’s on this route.

Final Verdict: After re-reading this entire review I figure that I give this route a 7.5/10 because I think although the ridership can be crazy and the route itself can be even crazier, I think in my opinion this route is a very fun route and I would recommend it.


Written and Edited by Jordan King (additional editing by Miles)
Brighton, Massachusetts 02135 ©

Thanks, Jordan!

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