|What a strange-looking bus. There was no signage at Mansfield, incidentally.|
|The inside of the bus.|
|Prepare for lots of back views - rear windows are fun!|
|Was there signage? Ha!|
|The section on I-495.|
|Oh boy...this is not a photogenic bus.|
Ridership: Look, I'm sure this route gets great ridership when school is in session. Sure, it only gets about 80 people per weekday, but that jumps up to around 130 per Saturday - GATRA's fifth-busiest route. The 140 even has Sunday service when school is in session, and the Wheaton College website goes as far as to call it a "campus favorite." But on my summer ride? No one. Not a soul.
Pros: The 140 is a quick link (25 minutes) from Wheaton College to the Commuter Rail, and it serves a number of malls and shopping centers along the way. The schedule can be roughly simplified to every 30 minutes rush hour, every 90 minutes during the day, and every hour on weekends, although it's really not that consistent.
Cons: Well, firstly, a 25 minute trip means you can easily have a clockface schedule, but the 140 refuses to do this most of the time. I also question the 70 minute layover at Mansfield on Saturdays - it's clearly for the driver's break, but having a driver switch would allow for one extra trip. Of course, I consider all of this to apply only to school days, because...WHY DOES THIS ROUTE RUN DURING THE SUMMER?! It's clearly meant for students, and if my Saturday afternoon round trip was any indication, no one uses this thing during school vacation.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Students seem to use this route mostly for shopping, and you can, too! It serves a few malls, with Mansfield Crossing seeming to be the most interesting one.
Final Verdict: 6/10
There's certainly no denying that the 140 gets ridership during the school year. But based on my experience (maybe it was a quiet day for one reason or another), no one uses this thing during the summer. The schedule could definitely be toned down when school isn't in session, and could generally be tinkered with to give the route clockface headways. The 140 is definitely a solid route, but it has a lot of problems that need to be fixed.
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