70 (Waltham/Allston/University Park)

In terms of total length, the 70 is one of the longer local bus routes in MBTA bus territory, clocking in at about 10 miles. So, what do those 10 miles have in store? Let’s take a look.

Waltham’s Central Square!

So, some runs of the route originate at Market Basket, and a couple does a deviatory loop around the Cedarwood neighborhood before going to Waltham’s Commuter Rail station. However, my run originates at Waltham as a short-turn. The run begins by going down US-20 and going over the Commuter Rail tracks. There’s some semblances of density around here, however the majority of it isn’t until Watertown. It’s largely a suburban stroad. Hey, we also passed by the Gore Estate (no, not Al Gore! A historical figure named Christopher Gore. Never heard of him until writing this.), and US-20 began becoming more lined with smaller businesses until we reached Watertown Square (the former Green Line’s A branch terminal). Across the river is the Watertown bus terminal – the only bus-only terminal with parking. However, we didn’t serve it. We continued down and turned onto Arsenal Street. Now, on the side of the bus I sat on, it was very, VERY dense, in stark contrast to the suburban housing across the street. Now, is this what they mean by upzoning in practice?

A church
Hello, Fitchburg Line!
More of the same
Apartment complexes!
Watertown Square!
Some density?

Continuing further down Arsenal Street, we passed by both the Watertown Mall (on my side) and Arsenal Yards (the other side), both were pretty sizable shopping centers. Then, we crossed the Charles River, cut through Allston- IS THAT A ROMAN COLISEUM?! No. It’s actually just Harvard’s stadium. DAMN, they got some taste though! Anyways, we crossed the Charles again, this time into Cambridge, turning onto Memorial Drive and River Street, through some neighborhoods and to Central Square. Lastly, we turned down Mass. Ave. I got off on Mass. Ave., however the bus still continues for another block and turns around on a side street.

“Classy Walmut” – Brooke
Eww, traffic!
…Welcome to Allston?
Green space!
The Charles, again!
…welcome to Cambridge?
An intersection near Central Square
See ya!

The good: It’s a largely direct route from Waltham to Central Square and almost Kendall/MIT. Furthermore, it serves a couple of malls and Watertown Square as well! Neat! Headways are pretty decent too and it’s the only bus to (relatively frequently) serve Waltham on Saturdays (and is the only one on Sundays).

The bad: I mean, a consistent 15/20/30/etc. minute headway would be nice. There’s also too many damn variants of the route (to Cedarwood on weekdays, sometimes to Market Basket???). At that point, just send to Kendal Green!

Nearby points of interest: Waltham’s Central Square, Cambridge’s Central Square, Watertown Square, Arsenal & Watertown Malls, MIT, and even Market Basket to name some! Also Harvard’s stadium!

Overall, it’s an alright route. But, why the inconsistent headways and why are there too many variants of it?!

Rating: 6.5/10


Author: chelsea

i own this site and write.

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