|Well...that would've been the 431...|
|Going down Union Street.|
|Slightly less impressive than the Flatiron, but still quite nice.|
|This is starting to feel less urban.|
|Some retail on Neptune Boulevard.|
|Some more businesses on Summer Street.|
|The bus laying over at Neptune Towers.|
|Hey, it's a The Ride vehicle! Does that not belong at Neptune Towers more than a fixed MBTA route that never runs?|
|A different 431 on a different day.|
Ridership: The 431 gets truly high ridership that blasts all other MBTA routes out of the water. Get this: 45 people per weekday, 41 per Saturday, and all of 7 riders every Sunday. Perfect!
Pros: You know, on a route like this, I might say "it exists" as sort of a joke pro. But the thing is, the 431 isn't even consistent with that! I've tried to take it so many times and it's decided not to run every single one!
Cons: Um, so, like, everything? Yeah, basically. It's one thing to operate a completely useless bus loop that gets hardly any riders and only serves to make late 435's even later, but it's another thing to advertise a service that only sometimes exists. And the fact that there never seems to be any people that complain when a bus forgoes its 431 trip just means that no one's using it in the first place. Neptune Towers doesn't even have a stop, for heaven's sake!
Nearby and Noteworthy: Get this: on our walk, we saw an ice cream truck. NOTEWORTHY ALERT!
Final Verdict: 1/10
GET. RID. OF. THE. 431. It's that simple. There is no point in keeping this route around in order to run a full-sized bus to some apartment complex that's only a few blocks away from other routes, anyway. You know what they should do? Just utilize The Ride! It doesn't have to be a fixed service, per se, although they could even just run The Ride vehicles on the tiny loop to Central Square, following the current 431 schedule. No service would be lost and it would be a much better use of resources, plus the 435 could get a proper layover (which it desperately needs).
UPDATE: The MBTA has discontinued the route, but things aren't much better - the route is still there, but now it's just an extension of the 435. Nothing has changed. I'm sure all of the problems mentioned in this post still exist.
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