8 (Longwood/Nubian/S. Bay Center/UMASS Boston)

Alrighty, another bus route! This time, we’ll be taking a look at the MBTA’s bus route 8, which runs from Kenmore to UMASS Boston and Harbor Point. So, let’s look at it.


The route begins at Kenmore’s busway and runs south down Brookline Avenue pretty much immediately, passing Fenway Park and Lansdowne Station. Quickly after, we enter the Longwood Medical Area, passing close to Fenway Station on the D branch (but not directly serving it, as we don’t turn down Park Drive) and pass The Fenway. Wait, THE Fenway?! I thought it was just a park, not a wholeass street! Yeah, that’s right, One Fenway is a street. Of course, this isn’t to be confused with the park. But, that begs the question, what came first, the street or the park?

*does research*

The Mass Pike and Lansdowne Station
David Ortiz Drive!
Entering the Medical Area, woah!!!
Simmons University?!
A soccer field
Boston Children’s Hospital
Uh oh…

Huh, looks like the park was named after the street. Okay, then! Anyways, we pass some Simmons University facilities, turn down Longwood Avenue past the Longwood Galleria as we go through the Medical Area. On my ride up to Kenmore, it was HELL. We turned onto Avenue Louis Pasteur. Now, I don’t know who the fuck Louis Pasteur is, but he needs to have a better-designed street named after him. Or, maybe he was an urban planner with a big ego (moreso than Robert Moses?) and he needs to design a better street himself. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to bunch a shitton of random buses here?! Who let this happen?! Why the fuck is this even a good idea?!?! And the fucking LONGWOOD MEDICAL AREA, OF ALL PLACES!!! I’D EXPECT THIS SHIT DOWNTOWN NEAR HAYMARKET OR STATE STREET, OR EVEN COPLEY! NOT THE LONGWOOD FUCKING MEDICAL AREA!! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! Anyways, I digress. We trudge on down Ruggles Street, interchanging with Huntington Avenue with an E branch connection at Museum of Fine Arts, and soon enough we were at Ruggles. However, unusual, we ran THROUGH Ruggles, stopping at both the upper and the lower busways. Woah! We proceeded and the real pain began.

A bunch of recycle bins
Simmons University and Bluebikes!
Green Line!
Wentworth Institute of Technology!
Ruggles – Upper Busway
Ruggles – Lower Busway
A Commuter Rail train!

We deviated into Nubian Square for even more bus connections, turned up Washington St., and eventually turned down a street to turn right again. Passing by some more apartments and, eventually, the Boston Medical Center, this section was a massive slog. It was SLOW. I mean, it was rush-hour traffic in the South End, I can’t say I’m surprised we ended up 30 minutes late. It’s almost as if median-running bus lanes might have helped a little. I must also reiterate, the 1 also runs through here a bit, as does the 10!!! Of course, after trudging on, we turned into Newmarket Square, passing the Fairmount Line, deviating into the South Bay Center, and we went EVEN FURTHER!!!! But it didn’t feel as painful. We just went down Mass. Ave. for the rest of its length, went onto Columbia Road, and eventually made it to JFK/UMASS’s busway. FINALLY!!!

Green space!
Oh christ…
Nubian and the Silver Line!
A graveyard?
Washington St.
THE HEART OF THE COMM-oh, wrong Worcester…
Fucking transphobia…
Another building
The Boston Medical Center!
Cycling infrastructure, stay tuned for Chelsea vs. cycling (eventually…)
Commuter Rail and bus connection.
Industrial wasteland
Is this a policy failiure?
The underside of I-93
JFK/UMASS. Red Line, Commuter Rail, and bus connection.

The route continues on down Mt. Vernon St. towards Harbor Point and turns around in the middle of UMASS Boston’s campus. However, I was tired and wanted to attempt to get the 4:52 PM express home (spoiler: I missed it.), so I ran for the Red Line at JFK/UMASS. The route isn’t anything special, however.


The good: In a way, it’s two routes in one: Kenmore-Nubian via the LMA, and Nubian-JFK via the South Bay Center. So, let’s break it down. It largely covers areas not covered by the other Nubian bus routes, including the South End and the South Bay shopping mall, as well as going into UMASS Boston itself rather than turning around at JFK/UMASS. From Kenmore to Nubian, it also serves the Longwood Medical Area and Wentworth, some of which is shared with a variety of other bus routes. However…

The bad: The damn route can become slowed down VERY EASILY by traffic, especially during rush hour! It also gets an insane amount of ridership so, if any route is to become a rail line, I strongly would nominate this one (or at least nominate it for bendy buses and insane amounts of dedicated ROW!). Also, what the fuck is on Louis Pasteur’s avenue?! The headways are also haphazard on weekdays, being literally anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes! Weekend headways are more consistent, at every 45 minutes. Nice.

Nearby points of interest: Fenway Park, the LMA, Nubian Square, a couple of colleges, the Boston Medical Center, and the South Bay Center along with UMASS Boston primarily.

Overall, convert the damn route to a subway line! PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU. It’s not a bad route, but it’d make it A LOT BETTER! EVEN THROWING BUS LANES IN THE MEDIAN WOULD HELP A LOT!!!

Rating: 6.5/10

So, who IS Louis Pasteur, anyways? Is he, in fact, an urban planner or something? Is he Boston’s Robert Moses? Well……

*does research*

So apparently he’s not from Boston nor does he have ties to the city. He’s just some random French guy involved with the field of science. Well then…. I guess I absolve him of all accusations of shitty urban planning.


Author: chelsea

i own this site and write.

Leave a Reply