Alright, my first rapid transit route review! …except, I use “rapid transit” loosely, since the Silver Line isn’t the BRT system that the MBTA makes it out to be. Nevertheless, if I’m trying to 100% the T, I have to ride the Silver Line routes.
So the route begins in the tunnels under South Station. Because the Silver Line is technically BRT, this section is in its own right of way along with catenary wires. Because the stop is in fare control, we didn’t have to pay and could board at any door. Soon enough, off to the ra- WOAH CRAP IT’S SO BUMPY IT’S NAUSEATING! Yeah…..the BRT busway is really, really terrible in quality. It made my friend nauseated, for crying out loud!
First up is Courthouse. This stop is located near the Moakley Federal Courthouse, as the name suggests. A few people got on but not many people got off here. Anyways, moving on.
Up next: World Trade Center! Nope, this isn’t New York! This stop corresponds to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center near the waterfront. Again, not many people got on or off here. Moving on further and HOLY CRAP I SEE LIGHT!
Up next: Silver Line Way! Now, this stop is actually special for two reasons. First, it’s where short-turn SLW runs end. Second, it’s where the catenary-diesel handoff happens. Usually it takes about a minute at most, however if it goes wrong, it goes really wrong. Fortunately that didn’t happen. From here, we were in mixed traffic. We turned onto Haul Ave. and Northern Avenue. From here, we went left onto Drydock Ave., and looped around Drydock and Black Falcon Ave. From here, the route went back to South Station, as it runs in a loop.
The good: It serves the Seaport! It’s also a (mostly) rapid link between the Seaport and downtown Boston, with service to the Boston Exhibition Center and the Design Center.
The bad: THIS IS NOT BRT!!!! GOD DAMMIT MBTA, STOP CALLING IT BRT WHEN IT DOESN’T ADHERE TO BRT STANDARDS! Not even RIPTA is that bad with the R Line, because at least with that they MAKE it a point to not advertise it as BRT. And, it’s with this bad choice of labelling, that I have to give the SL2 not a great rating.
Nearby points of interest: Downtown Boston and the Seaport, really. Not much else.
Overall, STOP CALLING IT BRT!!! Ugh. Also, smoothen the busway going under the harbor. If you want BRT, at least give it dedicated bus lanes.