|Usually you can take any awful picture you want and pass it off as "artsy", but I think doing that for this would be an insult to artists everywhere.|
Right after that, we turned onto Elm Street, joining the 87. As this was an outbound trip, we bypassed downtown Davis Square, going on side streets until we reached the Davis busway. From there, we turned onto College Ave, which was residential. There were a few businesses at Powderhouse Square, otherwise known as The Rotary Of Infinite Slowness Because It Has Traffic Lights. Seriously, a rotary with traffic lights? Come on!
After that mess, we continued up College Ave, going by a big field before passing through Tufts University. Turning onto Boston Ave, we went by more university buildings, including one that was under construction. There were some restaurants marketed toward students, then we turned onto Winthrop Street, crossing over the Commuter Rail tracks.
|Crossing the Mystic River.|
|The bus at City Hall.|
Ridership: On my trip, there were less than 10 people that rode. This was evidently a fluke, though, as the 96 does generally get pretty good ridership. On weekdays, it gets an average of 2,192 riders; on Saturdays, it's 1,364; and on Sundays, it's 696. Most people on my trip used the route for the Medford portion, either for the Square or for residential neighborhoods south of it.
Pros: It's one of two links from Davis Square to Medford Square, and it's the more direct one. Also, it goes all the way down to Harvard, making a link from Cambridge to Medford, as well. Its weekday schedule is pretty good, running every every 17 minutes during rush hour and every 35 minutes during the day.
Cons: Unfortunately, the rest of the schedule is much worse. The 96 runs every 40 minutes at night, every 50 minutes on Saturdays, and every 70 minutes Sundays! That's less blasphemous than the 101's Sunday schedule, since that route gets more ridership, but it's still horrible.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I spent a bit of time walking around Medford Square, and it seemed pretty happening. I don't have any specific businesses, though.
Briefly, I was considering giving the 96 a 7. I figured that it gets less ridership than the 101, so the bad schedule is slightly more justified here. Honestly, this route just looks bad on the 101's part, since that has significantly more ridership yet the exact same headways on Sundays. In regards to its routing, though, the 96 is pretty good. It's just the schedule that drags it down. Addendum: Okay, so it turns out the 96 is coordinated with the 94. This means that together, the two routes actually run quite frequently to Medford Square, so I'm raising the 96's score to an 8.
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