|The bus at its makeshift stop.|
|I will say that the shelter at Cambridge @ Warren is lovely!|
|A front view of Union Square!|
|Hey, it's Boston! Blurry Boston!|
|A highway view through the front of the bus!|
|Some apartments at the intersection with Washington Street.|
|Some scenery on Washington Street.|
|The bus was signed as a 16 by the time we got to Andrew, so here's a front shot on Southampton Street.|
Ridership: I think Brighton High had an early release day like I did, because there were only two other people on board - students, of course - who had probably stuck around after school for a bit. On normal school days, though, the 9702 is as crowded as any normal school trip, with a full seated load or more.
Pros: Clearly there's a large group of students who go to Brighton High from Southie, and this bus gives 'em a fast way of getting there. Or...well, getting back, at least. Hang on a sec.
Cons: Yeah, this and the other Brighton High routes are all one-way. So basically, you've got the 2:05 outbound trip and that's it. The commute from Southie to Brighton is long without a direct route, so it's annoying how the 9702 only runs outbound. Also, the 9702 is a special case in that the route it's supposed to take is different from the route that the drivers are told to do! The bus is supposed to get out at South Station and take some route involving Broadway before getting to Andrew, but it "officially" travels via Back Bay and goes directly to Andrew. Then there's the fact that my trip was apparently a completely different route from either of those, which makes things even more confusing.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Are you a student? No? Then you really shouldn't have any need to take this route unless you're looking for an interesting, unique ride.
Final Verdict: 4/10
Two very simple changes can bring the 9702 up to at least an 8. Number 1: Add a morning trip. This one applies to all the supplemental routes, but with this one in particular, the ride from Andrew to Brighton is long if you use regular routes. Number 2: Standardize the route! Apparently whenever a new driver is on the 9702, students have to tell them to take the South Station routing instead of the official one. So...MAKE THE SOUTH STATION ROUTING THE OFFICIAL ONE! It's not that hard!
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