Alrighty, the granddad of the MBTA bus network, and quite possibly one of the highest-ridership buses! So, let’s get into it. The routing for this bus is pretty simple: a straight shot down Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard to Nubian Square. In the process, intersecting with all the lines except the Blue. So, here we go.
Turning down Mt. Auburn Street, it quickly became Massachusetts Avenue, and at this hour there was a lot of traffic. One thing this route is notorious for is bunching. I think my bus was a good 10 minutes or so behind schedule too, so there’s that. As we passed down Massachusetts Avenue slowly, there were a number of businesses and places of interest, and eventually we crossed the Grand Junction after passing Central Square. By this point, the bus was PACKED, like, less than standing room packed. Fortunately, after crossing the Harvard Bridge, this didn’t last too terribly long (but felt like an eternity) as we started hitting all the rapid transit connections in quick succession: Hynes for the B/C/D branches, Symphony and the Christian Science HQ for the E branch, Mass. Ave. for the Orange, and again for the Silver. We’d go under the Boston Medical Center, turn down Albany Street, and meet with the Silver Line again at Nubian, ending the route.
The good: It’s a straight shot from Harvard, hitting all the rapid transit lines (except the Blue). Furthermore, it’s quite frequent! However…
The bad: WHY IS IT USING ONLY FOURTY FOOT BUSES?! THESE DAMN THINGS GET TO CRUSH LOAD EASILY DURING PEAK HOURS. FURTHERMORE, THERE’S NO SEMBLANCE OF TRANSIT PRIORITY WHATSOEVER! LIKE PLEASE, CAMBRIDGE! PLEASE, BOSTON! PUT MEDIAN-RUNNING BUS LANES ON MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE!!!! BETTER YET, THIS ROUTE IS THE KIND OF ROUTE THAT SHOULD BE PART OF A NON-DOWNTOWN CENTRIC RAPID TRANSIT LINE! LIKE PLEASE, JUST PLEASE!!! PUT THE 1 OUT OF IT’S CRUSH-LOAD MISERY!!!!!
Nearby points of interest: There’s some interesting businesses in Central Square and in Back Bay!
Overall, this route is a case of something that’s out-grown its original purpose. While buses are fine, this route is a poor use of them and where a subway line would do miles better.