|The bus at the BAT Center.|
|Welcome to beautiful downtown Brockton...|
|An empty plot of land.|
|A patch of trees.|
|Mmm...gotta love Avon Square.|
Soon after Avon Square, we entered Randolph. Although South Main Street hosted a few industrial and commercial buildings, it was still mostly houses. However, we soon passed a school and went under pylons in quick succession, and arrived in Crawford Square just a bit later.
|A street in Crawford Square.|
However, after that, it went back to mostly houses, with a bit of retail. There were also a few churches, industrial buildings, housing developments, and another school. Near the intersection with Pond Street, North Main was lined with businesses for a little while. We passed through one more residential stretch, then the street grew incredibly wide, went by some highway development, and went under I-93 with a cloverleaf interchange.
|One of the ramps onto the highway.|
The 245 left us at Brook Road, where we continued onto Central Ave. The houses got closer together as we got further north, until they became businesses. Here, we crossed over the Mattapan High Speed Line at its Central Ave stop, and then went over the Neponset River.
|What a lovely view!|
|The bus gobbling up passengers to go back to Brockton.|
Ridership: This is by far the busiest route on the BAT, with 2,029 riders per weekday and 1,301 per Saturday. There's no data for the 12's Sunday service yet, but every time I see one on Sunday at Ashmont, it's packed. My ride on a late Saturday afternoon was lighter, with about 25 passengers in total. Most of them went from beginning to end, but a few people got on between Brockton and Avon and others got off at local stops along the route.
Pros: It's a BAT route that connects to the freakin' Red Line! That in itself is awesome! Of course, this makes it quite busy, and it even has a few express trips during rush hour. Although the route has a premium fare over the rest of the BAT ($2.00 instead of $1.25), it's still vastly cheaper than taking the Commuter Rail into Boston (which costs $7.50). Finally, although the headways are the same as other BAT routes Monday through Saturday, the 12 has a longer service day, from 4:50 AM to 12:20 PM on weekdays and 5:05 AM to 11:40 PM on Saturdays.
Cons: The Sunday service is bad. I mean, it only runs about half as often as other BAT routes! Now how does that make sense? Is this not the busiest route on the system? I'm pretty sure it's still gonna get ridership on Sundays! So why doesn't it run as often as other routes?
Nearby and Noteworthy: Hmm...to be honest, the most "noteworthy" place the route serves is Ashmont, but only because you can get the Red Line to actually interesting attractions from there. I mean, I could mention the small squares the 12 passes through, but none of them were very captivating.
Final Verdict: 8/10
Well, regardless of the 80 minute headways on Sundays, the 12 is definitely one of the best routes on the BAT. It runs as often as other BAT routes all other times, but it also has a longer service day, and - oh yeah - serves Ashmont! It's a cheap (but slow) alternative to the Commuter Rail, and it gets a bunch of ridership along its massive length. If only it had more frequent Sunday service...
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates