Friday, December 26, 2014

GUEST POST: 66 (Harvard Square - Dudley Station via Allston and Brookline Village)

Here's a second opinion of the 66 from Jordan King:

The last time I rode the 66, it was a crazy route that was always late either because a bus broke down or there were severe traffic problems. But that was like a year and a half ago so I figured why not take another ride on the 66?

The trip starts with a packed bus at Dudley, more than the last time I rode it. From there we head down Malcolm X Boulevard, which changes to Tremont Street. We pick up several more people at Roxbury Crossing, which makes the bus so crowded that people actually get on in the back of the bus! We finally make it to Brigham Circle where we join the 39 and the Green Line (E). As we make our way down Huntington Avenue we suddenly hit a lot of traffic. So what normally is a 5 minute trip down Huntington Avenue took over 15 minutes.

Leaving Boston, we now travel down Harvard Street in Brookline, going mostly express, and before I know it, we are at Coolidge Corner were 30% of people got off to probably catch the Green Line (C). Now I will spare the boredom of the rest of the Harvard Street stretch as it's mostly just stores and houses. We finally get to Comm. Ave where a lot of people get off to catch the Green Line (B). Minutes later we're in the heart of Allston, Union Square, where more people get off and on. We travel down Cambridge Street over the Mass Pike Bridge and then make a left on North Harvard Street by the Hess Gas Station. So far this trip had been going very well until….. I heard a lot of noise coming from the engine, and suddenly the Bus Driver told everyone, “The bus is dead.” At that moment, I thought “I can't finish the review!” But of course, the 66 is one of those bunching routes so one was right behind us. I got on and we continued down North Harvard Street, across the Charles River, and into Cambridge, and finally, after a long 30-45 minute trip, I finally arrived at Harvard Square.

The Fleet: The Route 66 is a mostly Cabot Route with Albany St. Buses operating on the Brighton Center trips during the morning weekday rush hour. So expect to see NABI CNG’S and occasionally a New Flyer D40LF (the 800’s and the Shield Bus 0700) or a New Flyer C40LF (6000 series). The buses are okay, but the NABI’s can be sometimes useless.

Ridership: This is one of the 15 key bus routes on the T so the ridership is expected to be big, but the amount of people that ride this bus is like…..I can't believe they don't have articulated buses on the 66, even on a Sunday!

Final Verdict: 8/10 
This route is one scenic route and if you're one of those riders who like transferring from one Green Line Branch to another by bus, then this is the route for you.

Thanks, Jordan! Don't forget to check out his earlier guest post about the 64, as well as my ride on the 66.

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