|What is this madness???|
|What a lovely interior.|
|An intersection near Endicott.|
|My camera was acting up inside the mall, so, uh, here's the sign!|
|Crossing the Providence Highway.|
|Hmm...seems like a logical place for a bus stop. I hope none of those cars want to leave their parking spaces!|
|A side street.|
|Going over the Charles.|
|Oh, and did I mention that there's no Dedham Bus sign?|
|A parking lot.|
|More housing developments! WOOOOOOO!|
|A few businesses in Oakdale Square.|
|I took the bus a bit further to Dedham Corporate Center, so here it is there.|
Ridership: Oooh, this one's a hoot. The route got 9,784 riders in 2014, which equates to an entire 39 riders per day it ran. Wow! Such high ridership! But that was back when the route was more linear. Has ridership increased since they made it a confusing loop with too many deviations? Welp, if the one other passenger on my ride is to judge...no!
Pros: Look, the idea of a shuttle in Dedham is a great idea. It really is. There are big chunks of the town not served by the MBTA, so a bus to cover those service gaps is fantastic. In theory.
Cons: Here, I'll be nice and start with a complaint not regarding the route itself: the schedule. The clockface every hour service is sensible, but there are two major problems with the scheduling. Number one is the service gap from 12 to 1. I think it's meant for the driver's lunch break or something, but why not just do a driver switch? Can they really only afford one driver? Number two is the fact that the route has no rush hour trips - service runs from 8 AM to 5 PM. Wouldn't it be great to extend it by one trip on either end in order to bring people from local neighborhoods to the Commuter Rail or MBTA buses for their commute? That seems like it could be useful. Wow...look how much I've written without talking about the crazy route. So anyway, about the route: why is it so insane? It's like the planners were playing a game of trying to put in as many unnecessary deviations as possible! And sure, some of them make sense, like Legacy Place or the Dedham Mall, but they get no ridership because they don't have signage! Either add signage to every single one of your stupid deviations, or simplify the dang route. This is ridiculous.
Nearby and Noteworthy: I mean...you can basically get anywhere in Dedham with this crazy route. Will you get there quickly? Nope. But you'll get there eventually!
Final Verdict: 3/10
Is Dedham really suburban enough to justify an insane loop that makes detours to serve every housing development and mall in its path? I mean, sure, it does serve a lot, but most of those detours get no riders, anyway! This route needs signage at all of its stops, and its route needs to be simplified. Do ridership counts! Iron out the detours that don't typically get people! Oh, and add some commuter trips to the schedule! The basis for a good route is here, but it has way too many problems to be considered adequate right now.
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