|The bus at Montello.|
We passed a cemetery, then the street became South Franklin Street. There were some businesses at the intersection with Linwood Street, onto which we turned. Midday 230 trips serve Linwood Housing, so this was a small detour into a development where all the residences were the same. Someone got off here, then we headed back to South Franklin Street.
|The entrance to Linwood Housing.|
|There are some weird reflections going on here, but this is a glimpse of Holbrook Square.|
|Going under some pylons.|
The houses were close together, but it wasn't quite as dense as it was back in Brockton. We went by a small clinic, then a few industrial buildings. We then crossed over the Commuter Rail tracks and closely followed them, while the street became Hancock Street. There was another industrial stretch, then we reached South Braintree Square, which was significantly more walkable and interesting than Holbrook Square from before.
|Hey, look, it's Braintree Town Hall! And...a car.|
|Some cars going down Route 3.|
|Ergh, this gate just makes me angry!|
We headed right through the heart of Quincy Center, the street lined with retail. A few blocks north, there was construction, but luckily we avoided it for the most part by turning onto Temple Street, then Washington Street. Washington Street merged back into Hancock Street, and we turned into the Quincy Center busway soon after.
|A different 230 in Quincy.|
Ridership: This is one of the busier Quincy routes on weekdays, with an average of 1,733 riders. It drops on weekends, with 756 and 492 average riders on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. As for my ride, there were about 30 people in total, approximately half of whom got on at Montello. Braintree Station was where most of the riders got off, with only a few people continuing on to Quincy.
Pros: Since it's so long, the 230 serves a lot. It's the only MBTA bus route to Brockton and Holbrook (the routes serving the Holbrook Commuter Rail station don't actually enter the town), and one of only a few to serve Braintree. Also, I have to commend the 230's rush hour schedule - it runs every 20 minutes in the morning! Every half hour in the evening is slightly worse, but still good.
Cons: I want to be forgiving with the 230's schedule. Since it's a long suburban route, it makes sense that it wouldn't run that often, and I understand why it only goes every hour on weekdays and Saturdays. That said, every 90 minutes on Sundays is pushing it.
Nearby and Noteworthy: This route goes through a few suburban downtowns, so I'll run through them south-north. Holbrook Square didn't have much, though there were some interesting old buildings there. South Braintree Square is a great commercial center, including a great small diner. Braintree Square, however, seemed to have a lot of boring businesses, while Quincy Center is, of course, quite busy with lots of retail.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Honestly, considering what kind of route the 230 is, the schedule isn't bad. Every 20 minutes at rush hour is great for such a long trip through the suburbs, while the every hour schedule of weekdays and Saturdays is what you'd expect from a route like this. The Sunday schedule is bad, admittedly, but the fact that it runs the full length on Sundays is still great. And of course, this bus goes right through some major south shore towns, which makes the 230 a very important route to keep around.
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