I’m proposing the 89 bus route be changed as shown (bigger image here):
I live on Broadway between Magoun Square and Winter Hill, and as such, I rely pretty heavily on the 89 bus to get around. Like many who take the 89, I find the route inconvenient because it has two variations: 1) a straight shot along Broadway between Clarendon Hill and Sullivan Square, and 2) from Sullivan to Davis Square and back. Before 7pm it more or less alternates between the two routes and after 7pm it only goes to Clarendon Hill.
The two variations are a source of confusion. About once a week, I see some confused rider on the Davis bus who thought it was going to Clarendon Hill or vice versa. I’ve even had bus drivers mistakenly drive the wrong route. Riders just want to go to the bus stop and get on the next 89. We all know those destination on the bus aren’t always correct. Some people just forgo the 89 entirely rather than deal with the confusion.
Relying on the route to Davis is particular difficult because it stops running shortly after 7pm. Stay late at work? Go to dinner and a movie in Davis? Then you better find some other route back.
For some brief history, not too long ago the 89 bus route went only between Clarendon Hill and Sullivan Square, leaving those living near Broadway with no direct access to the Red Line at all. The route today definitely provides better overall service than the old route, and I thank the MBTA for that change.
That said, I believe my proposed route would provide better overall service. It’s one route that loops Sullivan->Powderhouse->Davis->Clarendon->Powderhouse->Sullivan. No more confusion. No more stranding riders at Davis with no route back. One downside is that some riders along between Powderhouse and Sullivan would have to wait slightly longer on average for a bus to Sullivan (based on my back-of-the-envelope calculations about 2.5 minutes longer). I hope they think it would be worth the compromise.
What do you think? If you take the 89 would you prefer this route?