Alright, the 11 is short and sweet, so let’s just get into it.
This route heads straight west from the ITC, meaning we didn’t have to deal with downtown Pittsfield at all. We made our way straight onto College Way, which turned into the mostly residential West Street. A church and a school showed up along here, but it was mostly houses. Eventually we used Tor Court to deviate up to the Berkshire Medical Center Hillcrest Campus, then it was back to West Street, where the houses were getting further apart and set back further from the road (which now had no sidewalk). Just as the scenery started to change to open fields, we pulled into Berkshire Community College to end our incredibly short trip.
BRTA Route: 11 (Berkshire Community College)
Ridership: This route averaged just 45 riders per day in 2017, meaning a little over four people per round trip. Sure, that round trip only takes 26 minutes, but it’s still quite low.
Pros: I have a soft spot for short routes, and this one serves pretty much all you need to serve that’s along West Street. It has an hourly schedule all day, plus a recently added Saturday service that runs every two hours (although given the low ridership, the infrequent service probably makes sense). Also, late night service is provided in the form of the 11N, which I’m gonna have to review separately because it’s a completely different route…and it wasn’t running yet when I did all of these, so it’ll have to be in the future!
Cons: It’s too bad that the Hillcrest deviation is outbound-only, but that’s probably the best way to serve it in order to keep running times low. This route, like the 4 (since they interline) has an odd point midday where the departure times shift by 15 minutes. Finally, there’s the low ridership – I wonder if there’s ever been talks between the BRTA and BCC to provide free fares for students. I mean, the BRTA apparently provides free transit on your BIRTHDAY, so BCC doesn’t seem that far-fetched…
Nearby and Noteworthy: You’ve got a medical center, a school, and a bunch of houses.
Final Verdict: 6/10
The route effectively serves what it’s supposed to serve, but I think the problem is that people just don’t want to take it. One reason could be that because it’s so tiny, you’re almost guaranteed to have to transfer from somewhere else if you’re going to BCC. Free fares for students could mitigate that and get more people to ride the route – I’d imagine the bulk of its ridership is already BCC students, anyway.
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