|The bus coming into Kennedy Plaza.|
|A small park.|
|Looking down a side street.|
|The bus laying over.|
Ridership: In 2012, the route got 636 riders per weekday and 338 per Saturday, sticking it slightly below average for RIPTA routes. On my trip, there was a decent amount of ridership along the shared portion with the 31, but the only people who stuck around as far as the independent section got off within a few stops.
Pros: The route directly serves some dense residential areas, and it definitely seems like a good amount of people use it (RIPTA's ridership map shows good amounts of people even at the independent stops). The schedule is also neat and clean, with half-hourly service during peak periods and hourly service middays and Saturdays.
Cons: There's no Sunday service, but that's not actually a huge deal - the route never strays further than around a five minute walk from other RIPTA routes. Of course, that could also be considered a con, since it shows that the route may not be necessary.
Nearby and Noteworthy: No, there's nothing much along this route. The few businesses it does serve on the independent section (and, indeed, on the shared section) seemed pretty sketchy.
Final Verdict: 7/10
The RIPTA evaluation for the 18 uses a term that I like to say a lot: this is a niche route. It gives infrequent, direct service to neighborhoods that are very close to other routes, but it seems like it gets enough people to justify its existence. That's good enough for me!
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates