|The bus that wouldn't let us on because we had no tickets...|
|Oh no, what is this relic?|
|Nice view from up here!|
|Let's try this again...|
|The inside of the rather nice Xcelsior!|
|A park just past the square.|
|That view never gets old!|
|Goodbye, Mass Ave!|
|This is a pretty neat view.|
|The bus taking a layover.|
Ridership: There aren't any public ridership stats for the LMA shuttles from what I could find, but I can definitely say without a doubt that the M2's ridership is great. The route is often packed; my ride had a full-seated load, and that was going toward LMA in the afternoon. Imagine what the buses going the other way must have been like!
Pros: There is evidently dire need for a direct shuttle from Cambridge to the LMA, and this route fulfills that need very well. After the M2 leaves Harvard Square, it makes very few stops - only at key areas - which allows for a slightly faster ride. They try to keep this thing running frequently, too, especially during rush periods, when it goes every 10 minutes. When ridership is lower, it doesn't run as often, with service every half hour middays and every hour nights and Saturdays. Also, did I mention the route is free with a Harvard ID (and essentially free with Crimson Cash)?
Cons: This really only affects outside users like Nathan and I, but the ordeal required to obtain a Crimson Card is painful. Still, most riders are just going to have an ID, so it impacts very few people. My main problem with the M2 is the way it travels along the Fenway going northbound - a completely different route from the southbound direction! Not only that, it's a lot more traffic-ridden, to the extent that they actually reroute it to Brookline Ave during the evening rush. Even then, the M2 can still suffer from bunching, which is always an annoyance with frequent urban routes.
Nearby and Noteworthy: If you're trying to get from Harvard to the Longwood Medical Area for whatever reason, this is your route, I guess. Good luck getting a Crimson Card, though.
Final Verdict: 8/10
The M2 serves a very important purpose, and it shows in its ridership. Although bunching may cause it to be late, they run it frequent enough that people should never have to wait too long for a vehicle during rush hour. The northbound routing really bothers me, though - why can't they just route it via Brookline Ave all the time? That's close enough to the southbound route, and it would mean two-way service from Kenmore Square! Other than that, though, the M2 is a great bus...so long as you have an ID with you, of course.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates