|The bus at the "Gardner ITC."|
|The view from City Hall.|
|Some random businesses.|
|The best highway picture I could get, offering a "view" of Gardner.|
|Two shots of the bus at Wachusett.|
Ridership: Oh man, it's so bad...one other person going in towards Wachusett, and no one waiting to go back - and going back was the peak direction! I mean, okay, the trip going back was timed with the 3:30 train from North Station, so maybe the route gets more people later in the evening rush? It's so new that there isn't actual ridership data yet.
Pros: I love this route so much. This is just the perfect way of getting from Boston to Gardner - it's actually somewhat comparable to driving, taking only a few minutes longer when rush hour traffic is accounted for. Every trip on this route times perfectly with a train, and it nabs a decent amount of them, even getting a few midday trains! The route itself is also really fast, getting passengers from downtown Gardner to Wachusett in 15 minutes!
Cons: Why, oh why does nobody use it? Maybe my trip was a fluke? Maybe more people use it later in the rush? Please tell me people use this! I love it so much!
Nearby and Noteworthy: If you want to get to Gardner, this is your bus. Why would you want to go to Gardner? I dunno...
Final Verdict: 4/10 (but the route itself is a 9)
Please leave a comment if my trip was a fluke and this thing actually gets decent ridership! I really really like this route, and it's absolutely perfect for Gardner commuters. If it does indeed get no one, then I think there's a good solution to get people: put the route on the Fitchburg Line timetable. I'm not sure if the T would want to do this or not, but I'm sure if they showed that there's a bus directly to Gardner, and they showed when it leaves, ridership would increase both for this route and for Wachusett Station! Just sayin'...
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