|The bus boarding at Buckley. (feat. Jordan!)|
|A Getty? Wow, I haven't seen one of those in a while!|
|This is a strange area...|
|Crossing over the Spicket River.|
|A playground with some apartments.|
|A side street.|
|That's a lotta cahs!|
|Kinda-sorta a view?|
|Coming down to the hospital.|
|Unfortunately, all I have is this rather lame picture of Lawrence...|
Ridership: Sad to say, this is the least-used proper MVRTA route in Lawrence (sorry, 85) - it got 88,402 riders in 2015, or about 242 people per day. My Saturday trip consisted of entirely local riders heading into the city or going home.
Pros: It's got a typical MVRTA pulse schedule, which is good - every half hour during the rush, and every hour middays and weekends. And, well...the route definitely serves a lot of the eastern part of Lawrence. Yup, you would be hard-pressed to travel through there without encountering the 34...
Cons:...mostly because it loops and crosses over itself so freaking much! I mean, this is a seriously inefficient route. And yes, I know that it's a pulse system and the round trip has to take enough time to make the next pulse with a decent layover. But if that means having to traverse this loopy, indirect route, then isn't that a negative experience for the riders?
Nearby and Noteworthy: Houses or car dealerships...take your pick.
Final Verdict: 4/10
Although it serves a lot, no doubt about it, the 34 is just a mess. Well, I decided to go ahead and fix it...
This routing eliminates all of the places where the route crosses over each other, aside from the hospital deviations, which I assume are a necessity. I included the existing route on a separate layer so you can see how much of an improvement it is - and the best part is that a large majority of the route is either still served or has service only a few blocks away. The only significant portion that loses service is the northern part of Prospect Street and Ferry Street - but that's the bit that's only a few blocks from the 1, so they still have nearby service! Overall, the new routing cuts the 34 down from an 8.85 mile round trip to 6.26 miles. Really, the only drawback is that stupid pulse system - I imagine with this routing, the buses would get back to Buckley incredibly early. That's the drawback of a pulse: sometimes buses have to be purposely inefficient so they can get back to the hub at the right time. Oh well... (UPDATE: I was poking around on the MVRTA's website, and they have at least one route that gets back ridiculously early - the 34 update could still be feasible!)
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