|The bus at Clarendon Hill.|
|Another bus on another day at Davis Square.|
Rejoining my ride at Powderhouse Square, we continued down Broadway after navigating that horribly rotary. Now joined with the 80, the street was lined with houses for a bit, but it became all businesses at Ball Square. We crossed over the Commuter Rail tracks, then passed a field.
It was all retail again at the intersection with Medford Street, where the 80 turned off. We continued down Broadway, getting a short independent section. The street was mostly lined with houses, with a few apartments in there. As we started to head down a hill, the 101 joined us from Main Street.
|Hey, is that Boston? Or a blurry mess?|
|Another picture from the time I took the route to Davis Square. Note the second 89 behind the foreground bus.|
Ridership: Okay, so on weekdays, this route is really crowded! It has even higher ridership than the 88, with an average of 4,156 riders, slotting it at number 30 on the ridership rankings. However, there's a massive drop on Saturdays, with only 1,917 riders, and an even larger drop on Sundays, with a measly 858 riders. My ride was on Saturday, and the bus had a good 25-30 people in total.
Pros: I like to think that this route sews up northern Somerville (and Medford, to an extent). I mean, by running right down Broadway the whole time, it makes for a nice, straight artery through the dense area. In addition, it has a pretty good schedule on weekdays, when it gets used the most. So good, in fact, that it runs every 9 minutes during rush hour! This becomes roughly every half hour during the day, and on Saturdays, it's every 35 minutes.
Cons: Well, first of all, the route runs every hour at night and a dreadful every 70 minutes on Sundays. However, there's an even more glaring problem with the route than that: split terminals. Even when the 89's schedule is good, the service to the individual terminals is always half that. And this doesn't matter too much, since most service is on Broadway, but what if someone needs to go to Davis Square? On Saturdays, the route only goes there every 70 minutes, and it doesn't go there at all on Sundays! Too bad for you, Davis Square commuter!
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are a lot of businesses the 89 passes, but I'm just gonna go with my gut and say Davis Square. Of course, service there is once in a blue moon (and nonexistent on Sundays), so good luck with that.
Final Verdict: 6/10
I can't get over the split terminal thing! And yes, I know it doesn't affect that many people, since most riders use this route for the Broadway section anyway. But come on, Davis Square is an important subway connection, while Clarendon Hill is...Clarendon Hill. I mean, I think putting split terminals on bus routes is just asking for trouble. Seriously, just pick one! Or maybe only have split terminals during rush hour. I dunno, but this route is just too complicated and infrequent as it is.
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