Alrighty, I know, I know. Y’all can groan over me doing one of these kinds of entries again. But, I live by a 50/50 rule, where these kinds of entries can’t exceed 50%+1 of any given RTA. I’m technically not counting the Clinton Trolley as I’ve ridden enough of the routing via another route (the 641), so we’re within the 50% rule here. Let’s take a look at two very similar routes: the 642 to Chester and the 644 to Middletown (via Old Saybrook).
First timepoint after going express is the Essex park & ride. A bus shelter can be found here, however I’m not sure how many people actually use this as a park & ride for commuting, given the 644’s infrequency. The 642 also stops here. It’s here that the 642 runs local all the way up into Chester, sometimes with an on-request stop to Ivoryton. The 644 runs express, sometimes with an on-request deviation that involves crossing the Connecticut River. There’s also a transfer with the 645 at the end of the route, both at the Middletown terminal and Middlesex CC.
The good: Well, both routes serve a lot, and have deviations that make sense with on-request ones that should stay as such.
The bad: So, we’re back to 2 hour headways, weekdays only, eh? Well, I lied. The 642 runs on Saturdays. The 644? Nah, forget about it.
Nearby points of interest: Middlesex Community College, I guess, and Middletown. Chester doesn’t seem that interesting at first glance. Sorry!
Overall, I think these routes, on paper, just like the rest of 9 Town, could use a frequency buff. Like, even hourly would be more usable. Please, for what it’s worth, throw a second bus on these routes!
Rating: 6.5/10 (for both)