|The bus laying over on Hyde Park Ave.|
|Ignoring the weird stuff in the foreground, here's the bus making its u-turn.|
|The bus again, this time on River Street.|
At this point, the Stony Brook Reservation occupied the left side of the street. Something I didn't realize, though, was that apparently they put golf courses in reservations, as we passed one along Poplar Street. The street then curved to the northeast, once more lined with houses, aside from a small school at one point.
We turned onto Metropolitan Ave, which was up on a hill that sank down to the north. This meant that in between houses there was an absolutely amazing view of the Boston skyline. The problem was that it would show up for less than a second at a time, making it incredibly hard to get pictures. All of mine were terrible, and we started going down the hill disappointingly soon.
|This is on Washington Street. It is also an awful picture.|
We passed a big field, but from there the surroundings were mostly houses and apartments again. There was a short industrial section, then after a bit of an open stretch, we pulled into the Forest Hills busway. The...roofless Forest Hills busway. Because they removed the roof. Um...why did they do that?
|The bus at Forest Hills.|
Ridership: The 50 is pretty low on the MBTA's ridership list, slotted at number 99 on weekdays. That equates to an average of 1,310 riders. On weekends, meanwhile, the 50 gets 412 riders every Saturday, while the 40/50 combo gets 309 riders on Sundays - the 9th worst Sunday route. My ride was quiet, with about 10 people.
Pros: Well, for one thing, this bus is quick. Since its independent portion is so local, it can cover the whole route in 20 minutes at most. Its schedule isn't great, but it makes sense - every 25 minutes during rush hour, and every hour all other times. On Sundays, the 50 combines with the 40, making a loop that covers both routes. I think this is a good way of keeping costs down, although the 6 minute layover at Cleary Square could be annoying for those going further around the loop.
Cons: This is a very hilly route, which does make for a fun ride. However, this means that when it snows heavily, the 50 doesn't run at all. How annoying must that be for people? I mean, okay, I get why it wouldn't run, of course, but still - cancelling the route entirely seems a bit unfair. They could throw extra trips onto the 40 that continue to Cleary Square, at least. That would soften the blow on snowy days.
Nearby and Noteworthy: You've got Cleary Square, and...that's about it. I mean, this bus goes through Roslindale, too, but in terms of its independent portion, that's all houses.
Final Verdict: 6/10
Look, this is the sort of route that just inherently gets a 6. It's uber-local, it doesn't get much ridership, and it doesn't run often. It wouldn't make sense to run the 50 more frequently, though, since again - not much ridership. I also don't like how they completely write off this route on snowy days. They could use the extra buses to buffer service on the 40, running all the way to Cleary Square to at least help some 50 riders.
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