|The bus at Quincy Center.|
|My, that bridge sure looms, doesn't it? And the new one they're building next to it is even bigger!|
We were going by quite a few houses that were spread out enough to have decently sized yards. Going under the Commuter Rail tracks (or track, really), most trips would continue down North Street, passing the Weymouth Town Hall and a school. However, my trip was one of the few weekdays-only midday trips that takes a bit of a deviation.
Thus, we turned onto Church Street, then Commercial Street, then Essex Street. The surroundings really weren't much different from what they were before (though the street didn't have a sidewalk), until we reached the reason buses make this detour in the first place: a housing development. We didn't actually go in, but a few people got off outside it, which shows that this deviation is worth it in terms of ridership.
Right after the stop outside the housing development, we turned onto Broad Street, rejoining the main route at Middle Street. That intersection had a few businesses, and there was a fire station further down Broad Street. Soon after that, the street became lined with retail - we were in Jackson Square.
For some reason, the 222 makes a tight v-shaped deviation in Jackson Square, so we turned onto Commercial Street, going by a library. We then made a sharp turn onto Water Street, coming back into Jackson Square. Turning onto High Street, it got residential once more. We entered Hingham for just a little bit, making a loop and then returning the way we came.
I would like to point out that the 222 deviates in Jackson Square, with every other trip diverting to a separate terminus. On the v-shaped deviation, instead of heading back up to the square, it continues south on Pleasant Street. The terminus is just a loop around an area with a few small businesses.
|The bus heading down Water Street.|
Ridership: The 222 is never quite as busy as the 220, but it's always close behind. On weekdays it gets an average of 1,690 riders, while on Saturdays it gets 744 riders, and on Sundays it's 554 riders. My trip was in the afternoon just before the rush hour, so it was slightly quieter - there were about 20 people who rode. Many of these people got off along Washington Street, with only about half continuing to the independent section.
Pros: It serves Washington Street! And it does so frequently - every 14 minutes during rush hour! Then it's every half hour during the day and on Saturdays, while it goes every hour nights and Sundays. You have to remember, though, that all those headways are divided by two because the route is coordinated with the 220. Thus, the shared portion on Washington Street gets quite a lot of service.
Cons: For one thing, rush hour coordination is pretty much nonexistent. It would be fine if the 220 and 222 had the same headways during that time, but they're slightly different, which means there are a few trips that leave right after other ones. Also, I find split terminals to be kind of confusing, but I think the 220 handles it pretty well. Every other trip goes to Pleasant Street - that's easy, I can handle that.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The main attraction of the 222 is Jackson Square in Weymouth, and it seems like a decently interesting place. But you know what it really needs? A movie theater. Seriously, I think that would make the square significantly better. I'm not sure how much business a theater here would get, but you know. It would be nice.
Final Verdict: 8/10
Overall, this is a great route, providing a partner in crime to the 220. This route provides service to a very large part of Weymouth, and it does it pretty frequently. Okay, so it's not the greatest on Sundays, but come on, how much ridership would it really get if it ran more often? The split-terminal scheme is simple, and neither of the tangents are especially long, which I think is a good thing. That means fewer people have to deal with service from every other trip. Rush hour coordination with the 220 could be much better, but overall, I like this route a lot.
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