So, we’ve done the SL2, SL4, and SL5, and the short-turns. All that remains are the SL1 and SL3. And hell, the SL1’s the only one I’ve never ridden as I’ve done the SL3 plenty of times. So, let’s look at this “BRT” route.
First off, before even boarding, at South Station, I noticed there were flight departures. Woah, I genuinely never noticed them before despite riding the Silver numerous times. But, that’s probably because I never ride the SL1. So, the bus pulls up, it’s crowded (highest ridership of the three Transitway routes!), and off to Logan Airport!
So, after running through the usual Transitway affair and express onto the Pike, we pull off onto what I think is the last exit, and right into the terminals. Get ready, because this might perplex a few people.
First stop was Terminal A. Nothing to note here, there’s at least signage here (and at all the stops). Terminals B’s two stops, and C’s stop were much of the same, as we weaved by every terminal. Terminal E, internationals, was also largely the same. People got on and off at each stop (predictably), with slightly longer dwell times than normal at each one due to loading luggage onto the racks. Yes, these Neoplans had luggage racks! After Terminal E, we were back onto the Pike and into the Transitway. You’ll ask, “where’s Terminal D?” Well, that doesn’t exactly “exist”, so to say.
The good: Well, if we look at the Silver Line as a rapid bus (e.g. same class as the R Line), then the SL1 is a pretty damn decent airport express bus. Sure, it’ll get clogged up on the Pike pretty easily, but for what it is, it stops curbside at the terminals, and runs express to the Transitway. Besides, unlike most other airport buses I’ve ridden to this point, it’s got luggage racks! The terminals are also your only officially free entryway into the subway system, too!
The bad: Unfortunately, it’s not true “rapid transit”. In fact, I’d argue the case for a people mover between the terminals, and some combination of Airport and South Station. Moreso, given that the Silver Line (and the SL1 mostly) is at the behest of mixed traffic beyond the Transitway.
Nearby points of interest: You’re not gonna get a lot in the way of points of interest at Logan. But you can change for the Red Line, Commuter Rail, Amtrak, and the other Silver Line routes at South Station!
Overall, it’s alright. As a normal or rapid bus route, it’s pretty good. But, as BRT, as the T advertises, it kinda sucks. But, hey, you can get into the subway for free! Neat! Hmmm, I wonder how many terminals one could touch before needing to leave fare control?