|The bus at Buckley.|
|One of those aforementioned factories.|
|Turning onto Haverhill Street.|
|A side street.|
|Going over the Spicket River again on Broadway.|
Ridership: To put it bluntly, this is the lowest-ridership route in Lawrence. In 2015, it got 30,867 riders which equates to a little over 100 people per day. And sure, it appears that the route was introduced in 2015, but considering that our ride had only two other people, I don't think it's gone up that much.
Pros: I love the concept of a frequent downtown shuttle, and the 85 fits the bill pretty well. On weekdays, it runs every half hour in a constant loop; on Saturdays, it's every hour, but it's also timed with a pulse from Buckley, which helps alleviate the lower frequencies.
Cons: Why doesn't this so-called "downtown shuttle" serve the Commuter Rail station?! On Saturdays I can understand why it wouldn't, since the schedule is tight, but on weekdays, it gets a 10 minute layover at the senior center! Why not have the route serve the station to give commuters a frequent service into and out of downtown Lawrence? And even aside from that...I'm just not sure how useful the 85 is. Most of it parallels other routes, and destinations around the loop are mostly walkable aside from a few rare cases.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Like I said before, I'm not a fan of downtown Lawrence...but this route will definitely get you around there!
Final Verdict: 3/10
I'm most definitely not a fan of this route. Aside from the fact that it could probably be eliminated, it doesn't even perform its basic duties well - there's nothing stopping it from serving the Commuter Rail station on weekdays. Seriously, though, the 85 just doesn't serve enough on its own to get a lot of ridership, and, well, it doesn't. I doubt many people would miss it if it were cut.
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