|Now this is quite a beast!|
|And what a strange seating arrangement!|
|A blurry view of the harbor.|
|Making the turn onto Court Street.|
|A Liberty Link from earlier in the day. Gosh, how I'd love to be in that MiDi instead...|
|Running alongside the Commuter Rail tracks.|
|Oooh, it's just barely a water view!|
|Heading past the mall.|
|Looks like even more stuff is under construction.|
|What a nice curve.|
|The housing development.|
|The MiDi again. What can I say, that low-floor minibus is ugly!|
Ridership: I'm just going to count these as one route, since...you know, they basically are. The Freedom/Liberty Links are thus the busiest routes on the Plymouth Area Link system, with a combined 255 riders per weekday and 165 per Saturday. These are also the most productive routes in Plymouth, carrying between 10-15 people per hour each. Okay, it doesn't sound like a lot, but you have to remember that this is GATRA we're talking about.
Pros: The routes serve a pretty big chunk of the urbanized section of Plymouth. The malls they serve make them popular with shoppers, and I think that's the biggest contribution to their high ridership. Most of the deviations got at least one person, which is always nice to see. The route frequencies themselves are what you would expect - every hour for both routes. However, I still have a problem with them...
Cons: Why do both buses leave downtown Plymouth at the same time? I know they're trying to get a "pulse" thing going on, but with essentially only two routes, it doesn't have much of a point. I think it would be better if one loop left on the hour and one left on the half hour - that way if someone missed a bus, it wouldn't be too long of a wait for another one going the other way around the loop. Also, there are a few bothersome deviations: Cordage Park definitely doesn't need to be served on Saturdays, and the Kingston Station trips are very loosely timed with trains, to the point where it's not even worth it to deviate.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Well, these routes offer the only connection between the Commuter Rail and proper downtown Plymouth, so I would say downtown! It's a real pain to get to by public transportation, but this is a very historic area with some great sights to see.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Yeah, the routes definitely aren't without their problems. I suppose the two relatively pointless deviations are to be expected with any GATRA route, and all the other ones get people, but I can't let go of that scheduling thing. It seems ridiculous to have the routes leave at the same time - alternating them on the hour and half hour would allow for more "frequent" service and more balanced ridership. Still, the routes serve a lot and get a good amount of people, and for GATRA...they're not bad.
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