The 31 is a very short route. In fact, I’d go as far as to label it as a “short and sweet” type. However, during the Great Race to Mattapan, Alex, Nick, and I managed to ride this route in its entirity, leading to a route review becoming possible. So, what’s along the route? Let’s look.
The 31 originates at Forest Hills, and after banging a u-ey out of the lower busway onto Hyde Park Avenue, turns onto Morton Street immediately, passing by some apartments and Shattuck Hospital. Going down this section of Morton Street, you have the Forest Hills Cemetery on one side and Franklin Park on the other, and soon enough we were in Mattapan. We took a right down Blue Hill Ave., progressed down the street into Mattapan Square, passing the Fairmount Line, banging another u-ey after ever so slightly entering Milton, and entering Mattapan’s outer busway. All in all, about 20-30 minutes to cover three miles and change. Not bad, given ridership was mainly “everyone got on at Forest Hills, everyone got off along Blue Hill Ave.”
The good: It’s a short and sweet, and direct, connection between the Orange and Mattapan Lines. It’s also very frequent, being every 15 minutes (or better) on weekdays, and every 18-20 minutes on Saturdays, and 20-25 minutes on Sundays. Weekend headways aren’t the best, but it’s pretty good still.
The bad: It can feel like a drag sometimes with local Boston traffic. Oh well! It’s still faster than going up the Orange Line and doubling back on the Red Line! Yeah, I’m grasping for straws on this one. It really oughta be a key route though…
Nearby points of interest: Forest Hills, Mattapan Square, and Franklin Park are the big ones that come to mind. Shattuck Hospital, too.
Overall, for what it is, it does the job very well. I can’t think of anything negative about it, however it really ought to be a key bus route.