Friday, February 20, 2015

Service Change: Back Bay Logan Express

Recently, Massport began running a bus route from the Hynes Convention Center and Copley Square to Logan Airport. It's free if you have a CharlieCard, but if you lack one (presumably like most people who would use this bus), it costs five dollars one way. Is it worth the cost? Well, not if you take it during rush hour...

The sign at Hynes.
That sliding front door is amazing!
The front of the bus.
I got on at the Hynes Convention Center (note that it leaves from the convention center, not the Green Line station). The service runs every 20 minutes, which is a pretty good headway. After waiting on one bus for a few minutes, they transferred everyone to another one (for some reason) and soon we were off.

The inside was very swanky. The seats were mostly sideways-facing (boo!), but there were some forward-facing ones in the back. There was a luggage rack, as well as a screen up front that said the date, time, and next stop. An automatic announcer said the names of the stops, and he sounded really soothing. "Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride" was a nice touch. But if I had actually been trying to catch a flight, this ride would've been anything but enjoyable.

I love it!
The ads were all airport-related stuff.
No room for an "A" to properly abbreviate "station."
Not a good time to go to the airport, evidently.
We headed down Boylston Street, going by lots of businesses and apartments. The Boston Public Library signified that we were in Copley Square, and a few more people got on here. We then turned onto Clarendon Street, and then onto Saint James Ave, now heading westward. After that, we merged onto I-90 - away from the airport!

Yes, the reason the ride took so long is that the bus goes down I-90 all the way out to Allston, then turns around and heads back toward the airport. Although this is more or less the most efficient route coming back from the airport, there are more direct ways to get to the airport from Copley Square. Regardless, this is what the bus does, so we were stuck with it.

Leaving the I-90 tunnel through Copley Square, we passed Fenway Park and B.U., then got a nice view when the highway went elevated. We then used a handy-dandy turnaround road to go back eastward, and headed back the way we came.

Assorted buildings.
The Boston skyline!
This is where we hit traffic. It took forever just to get back to where we started, and we still had to get to the airport! Coming out of the Copley Square tunnel on the eastern side, we soon entered another tunnel, the Ted Williams. After about 50 million hours of sitting in traffic, the eventual spotting of daylight certainly lifted my spirits.

We came out onto an elevated road, which made a tight 180 degree turn around, and we soon entered Terminal A. From there, we went through the Terminal B parking garage, as well as through Terminal C, and I got off at Terminal E. Looking at the bus, it now had nothing on the destination board - perhaps it was going to go around the airport again to pick people up. I do know that the trip is scheduled to take 20 minutes, but for me, it took 50. I'd take the Silver Line anyday (though actually, that would've gotten stuck in the same Ted Williams Tunnel traffic jam).

I see planes and automobiles, but no trains.

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