|Oh! Um...hi, there.|
Wow! So it does get a sign...but it's relegated to a tiny corner in an insignificant window of the bus. I suppose the route is local enough so that everyone knows it's the bus to Hull, but still...at least put the piece of paper with the route on it on the front windshield or something! The bus even has a whole destination board up top that's not being used!
|The inside, looking toward the back.|
|Looking toward the front of the bus.|
We left the Station Street bus stop and made our way to Summer Street. We reached a rotary, where some trips divert to serve the Nantasket Junction Commuter Rail station, should a passenger call Joseph's Transportation to request a pickup. Evidently no one called the company on this trip, and we continued down Summer Street, which soon became Rockland Street.
|A marshy view.|
|Crossing into Hull.|
|The lovely beach view.|
|A view of some houses.|
|The view of a cove thing between Fitzpatrick Way and Nantasket Ave. I believe we were supposed to have taken Nantasket Ave, but...we didn't.|
|A view of...something. Well, it was a nice view.|
|The bus laying over at Pemberton Point.|
|And again, with a wind turbine in the background.|
Ridership: On my ride, there were about 20 people in total. Most of them got on at Hingham and used it to get to Hull, but some riders actually boarded in Hull, using it for local service. This is one of those routes where everyone knows each other, which is always fun. The ridership statistics are a bit wonky for this route in the Blue Book in that they're by month and year, rather than by day. Thus, the 714 got 44,337 riders in 2013, and the month it had the highest ridership was August, with 4,820 people. That translates to about 160 riders per day, which really isn't that much - and that's the month with the highest ridership!
Pros: This is the only bus route to serve Hull, and it seems to have a local following. And it goes all the way up the peninsula, so it pretty much serves the entire town, given how narrow it is. I like how it doesn't have stops, so people can get on and off wherever they please. Also, the buses it uses are really nice, particularly in that they're so quiet. I mean, they're practically silent. Finally, the schedule is such so that just one bus can run back and forth along the route, and I wouldn't be surprised if Joseph's only has one bus for this route, so it all works out. To be honest, too, every hour makes sense, as the route's ridership is so low. And it's great how it manages to be coordinated with the 220, the Commuter Rail, and the Commuter Boat from Boston.
Cons: Okay, this bus needs better signage. Seriously, just move that piece of paper to the windshield and we're golden! Also, I can't help but notice how the driver sort of disregarded the route on my ride. We were supposed to go via George Washington Boulevard, but the driver took the normal route instead. And we were supposed to go via Nantasket Ave the whole way, but the driver took the more direct route on Fitzpatrick Way. I mean, hypothetically, what if people had wanted to get on or off along those portions of the route we skipped?
Nearby and Noteworthy: Nantasket Beach has to be my favorite beach in the Greater Boston area, simply because its waves are usually quite big. I might've taken the bus during low tide or something, since the waves were small when we passed the beach, but trust me, they can get really big here. Also, the Paragon Carousel is always a fun place to let out your inner child - it's right across the street from the beach.
Final Verdict: 9/10
Okay, so based on the merit of how good of a ride it is, this route is honestly a 10. The views were amazing from start to finish, and it was also interesting because of how local it felt. The 714 definitely does have flaws, though. The signage problem can be easily fixed, but I'm not really sure what to think about the driver taking a different route than what the schedule says. Also, every hour isn't the best schedule, but based on the ridership, it seems to be all that's necessary. Overall, this was a really fantastic and scenic ride.
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