Staples headquarters at 8 PM is a lonely place. I was just standing around, waiting for the 9 and hoping this last 8:10 trip actually existed. If it didn’t, I had no idea what I would do. 8:10 came and went. So did 8:15. Was I stuck forever? Finally, the bus showed up at 8:18, and I happily boarded. The final MWRTA route.
|Take me out of here!|
The 9 happens to be numbered such because it spends almost its entirety along my favorite road in the world, Route 9. Gosh, what a fitting end to this MWRTA experience. Not only that, but it starts with a bunch of random deviations: we made our way up to Crossing Boulevard and crossed over Route 9 to start one of them.
|So it’s gonna be one of these reviews, huh? Alrighty, then. This is Route 9, as far as I know.|
We made a turn onto Boston Road, then another onto New York Ave, which took us past a bunch of office buildings. Of course, the number of people commuting from them at 8 PM happened to be an unsurprising 0. We turned onto California Ave next, taking it straight down into the ragtag MWRTA park and ride.
|About to cross Route 9.|
We headed straight onto the magical highway from there, taking it through an interchange with I-90. There was actually a nice view beyond the interchange as the road paralleled a reservoir, but we left it briefly to do a deviation into the Jefferson Hills apartment development. There were many more of those as we continued down Route 9.
There was a brief section of woods, but once that ended, it was a burst of Route 9 businesses everywhere – gross, suburban retail with parking lots. We passed a Stop & Shop that the 7 has to deviate into but we don’t (very satisfying), and the businesses continued. Soon after, though, we did a jog via Maynard Road, State Street, and High Street, in order to serve Framingham State University.
|Thank goodness for all of the lights so I could take semi-clear pictures!|
We returned to Route 9 and just blazed down it. It was 8 PM, traffic was light, and the scenery was unchanging – just more of the same stuff we had been seeing all along. It was a total blur until we whirled around onto Speen Street, which looped us over to the Natick Mall, usually the last stop on the route.
|At the mall.|
I threw this together really hastily in time for the review, so it’s not perfect (there’s an annoying hour-long gap in the evening rush going eastbound that I need to fix), but this is what the route could be. I tried to give it a decent amount of time to traverse Route 9, but maintaining a half-hourly schedule in the evening rush could be difficult because of traffic. Still, the point is that using the same amount of buses, the 1 and the 9 can be combined with much more consistent headways, plus with a one-seat ride! Not bad! Also, since this is my last MWRTA review: good riddance, you horrible bus system. BOO-YAH!!!!
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