When the Orange Line EL was demolished, it left many people in need of an alternate form of transportation. The section of the former line from Dudley to downtown got the Silver Line, which although not perfect, is certainly better than an average bus. So what about the section from Dudley to Forest Hills? Weeeeellllll…you guys get the 42.

Leaving the Dudley Square busway, we headed down Washington Street. After a short industrial section, we went by a housing development, then a pool and community center. There were a few businesses after that, but also more developments (including a tall apartment tower).

Retail came back in full force once we reached Egleston Square – there were lots of businesses lining the street. This continued for a while before it became densely-spaced apartments. And honestly, the street was pretty narrow. I can see how the EL would’ve been intrusive around here.

There were more businesses at Green Street (only a few blocks away from the Orange Line station), then it got a bit industrial. We passed a field, where I actually played once when I used to play soccer. I specifically remember how it was right next to the Southwest Corridor and I would always get distracted whenever an Orange Line train went by. Memories…

The Arborway bus yard!

After going by a high school and some more businesses, we then passed the Arborway bus yard! It was a really big complex, with lots and lots of buses. We went under what used to be the Forest Hills Overpass – it’s just some pillars now – and after that, we turned into the Forest Hills busway.

This was the best picture I could get, back at Dudley.

Route: 42 (Forest Hills Station – Dudley Station via Washington Street)

Ridership: There were about 25 people on my ride, which is pretty good. Most of them got on at Dudley and got off at local stops, but a few people got on to go to Forest Hills, too. The route’s ridership is healthy overall – an average of 3,047 passengers per weekday, 1,438 per Saturday, and 769 per Sunday.

Pros: Well, it covers the southern half of the Orange Line, which is good. It does it in a fairly short time as well, scheduled to take about 15 minutes. Plus, it’s frequent for the most part – every 15 minutes rush hour, every 20 minutes during the day and on Saturdays, and every half hour during the night.

Cons: There’s a massive drop in frequency on Sundays – every 50 minutes. And consider that the northern half of the old EL got the Silver Line. Now, granted, the northern half is denser, and the 42 runs fairly close to the current Orange Line, but still! Every 50 minutes!

Nearby and Noteworthy: There was nothing of note that I saw, except for the Arborway bus yard, which was pretty cool.

Final Verdict: 6/10
Meeeeh. I guess I’m of two minds for this one, since it has to be said that the southern half of the old EL is the less important one. For one thing, it’s less dense than the northern half. Also, the Orange Line runs closer to Washington Street near Forest Hills, making the 42 borderline redundant. But still, that Sunday schedule is terrible.

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