Heyyyyy, let’s hop on the Prison Express! No, I’m not joking, that’s literally what the B12 is: a nonstop, highway-running express route…to a prison. Like, a gigantic, proper prison. Huh. Yeah, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that this is a strange route.
|Here we go!|
|Some parking lot.|
|A formless apartment building? I guess that works too.|
|A “business” and a motel.|
|Here we go!|
We looped around the parking lot and headed onto Texas Drive, going by a small lake-pond-something? There were random buildings along the way, then we pulled into the Pre-Release Center, where prisoners are allowed to spend the day outside of the prison with trackers around their ankles. The driver said that operators of the B12 are specially trained to report to the Sheriff if any of the pre-release passengers act up even a little bit. This is intense stuff! There was no one getting on there today, though, so we just headed back to Springfield with an empty bus.
|Security is high…|
PVTA Route: B12 (Stonybrook Express)
Ridership: This route has two classes of ridership: there are the pre-release prisoners, as I mentioned, and there are also visitors. My ride was entirely the latter class, with seven women going to see people in the prison. In 2016, the route averaged about 4 passengers per trip, which makes sense, considering the first inbound and last outbound are almost guaranteed to be empty.
Pros: It’s, uh, a prison express? You know, it’s a weird thought, but it definitely provides a really important service. Plus, the entire route is paid for by the Hampton County Sheriffs Department, so PVTA doesn’t have to worry about a thing!
Cons: The schedule is really weird. Maybe it has something to do with how the prison works, but there are four trips from Springfield, weekdays and Saturdays: 1:48, 4:03, 6:03, and 7:48. Strange times…
Nearby and Noteworthy: Uhhhh…literally just the prison. That’s it. Have fun!
Final Verdict: 7/10
This is sort of a hard route to review, but I think a 7 suits it pretty well. It definitely provides an important service for a very limited group of people, and it’s fully subsidized, but…gosh, it’s just weird! The fact that it makes no other stops is strange, and those schedule times (seemingly) make no sense. One thing’s for sure, this was an interesting experience, and I’m really glad I was able to ride this crazy route!
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