Wednesday, July 8, 2015

32 (Wolcott Square or Cleary Square - Forest Hills Station via Hyde Park Ave)

This is it. The last Key Bus Route I have to review. And honestly, the fact that it's used so much baffles me a bit. I mean, it's the most isolated one, for sure. Also, the places it serves are largely residential, and not exceptionally dense, either. But they're dense enough to give the route insanely high ridership, evidently. Time for our last Key Bus Route ride, on the 32.

The back of the bus at Forest Hills.
We left the Forest Hills busway and headed down Hyde Park Ave, going by mostly houses and apartments. Passing some auto shops and a field, some businesses started to make their way into the mix. There was more retail at the intersection with Cummins Highway, but it went back to houses further south. After a light industrial section, we went by a shopping plaza, then it was back to houses.

A different 32 at Forest Hills.
It was mostly residential for a bit, with houses that were slightly further apart than before. But as we came into Cleary Square, the retail came back with full force. The street was lined with businesses on either side as we went by Hyde Park Station. After going over a river, it was residential for a bit, then it became industrial.

The driver gunned the motor here, with just me and another person riding by this point. We zoomed by lots of ugly industrial buildings, then came to Readville Station. Hyde Park Ave curved under the Fairmount Line tracks, and there were a few businesses at Wolcott Square, where the bus terminated.

The bus going under the Commuter Rail tracks.
Route: 32 (Wolcott Square or Cleary Square - Forest Hills Station via Hyde Park Ave)

Ridership: There were about 30 people on my ride, which wasn't bad, considering it was a midday outbound trip. Most people got off at or before Cleary Square, and only me and one other person went all the way to Wolcott Square. The route gets very high ridership overall, with an average of over 11,000 riders per weekday, 4,741 on Saturdays, and 3,275 on Sundays.

Pros: It's a simple route, cutting right down Hyde Park Ave and serving many underserved neighborhoods of Boston. Not only that, but it runs extremely frequently - as in every four minutes during rush hour. It then proceeds to run every 10-12 minutes during the day and on Saturdays, every 15-20 minutes at night (with a bit of late-night service on Fridays and Saturdays until 2:00 AM), and every 15 minutes on Sundays. Wow.

Cons: I can't believe I'm saying this, but does the 32 route run too frequently? I mean, I came back to Forest Hills during rush hour, and the 32s just kept pouring in. It must be a horrible route for bunching!

Nearby and Noteworthy: There were some businesses at Cleary Square, but I don't have anything specific.

Final Verdict: 8/10
Well, it's the last Key Bus Route. I don't have too many buses left now where the schedule isn't a con. And even here, there's a potential schedule issue. I'm wondering if every four minutes could be overkill. I'm not sure how crowded the route is during a normal rush hour (I took it on July 3rd), so I can only assume it gets packed. I mean, the 111 runs about every 5-7 minutes during rush hour, and that's a sardine can. The 32 must be horrible. Either that or it runs too often.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates

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