My plan once I got off the 222 at Jackson Square was to take the Commuter Rail one stop from East Weymouth to Weymouth Landing in order to catch the 225. And not just any 225 – I wanted the weekday-only variant that goes all the way down to Columbian Square, doubling the route length. But alas, right as I walked up to Quincy Ave, a bus was going by. Disappointed, I figured I’d just get a bus back to Quincy Center – but wait! Something was coming down the road! It was…yes, the 225C to Columbian Square! I rushed across the street and hopped aboard the bus.
|Just in time!
The bus was already pretty crowded when I got on, but luckily there was a free seat pair. We headed down Commercial Street, then turned onto Front Street, leaving the businesses of Weymouth Landing behind. Front Street was almost entirely residential, and the houses continued when the road became Summer Street. We eventually reached an intersection with an apartment building on the corner, and here we turned onto Federal Street, rejoining the main route at Washington Street.
|Skipping ahead a bit (a lot), here’s the bus at Columbian Square.
|Hey, there’s a water tower in the distance! And…lots of cars.
|No parking? Well, I can see why, given that monstrosity behind you.
|Crossing over the Monatiquot River. I have no idea how to pronounce that.
|Well, that escalated quickly.
|Actually, this apartment complex seems like it’s still under construction.
However, every other 225 skips the industrial portion in favor of a different route. Coming from Quincy Ave, this variant turns onto Hayward Street just before the industrial area. It then turns onto Shaw Street, which is lined with houses. When it becomes Howard Street, though, it gets industrial, at least on one side. The other side has a housing development.
At the same intersection where the regular route leaves Quincy Ave, the Shaw Street variant turns onto Quincy Ave. Along this section, it’s mostly businesses with large parking lots out front, and these basically stretch all the way to where the regular route rejoins the street. The third 225 variant is only for a few early morning and late night trips, and that one just stays on Quincy Ave the whole time.
Anyway, now that all three route variations are back together, let’s continue with my ride! Joining back with Quincy Ave, it was lined with businesses and parking lots, Luckily, though, it became Hancock Street, and we entered Quincy Center. Now the street was lined with retail that was a lot more interesting.
I was assuming we’d continue up Hancock Street to get to the Quincy Center busway, but that’s not what we did. Instead, we turned onto Granite Street, then swung a right onto the Thomas E. Burgin Parkway, arriving at Quincy Center Station on the other side. This other stop had its own announcement and everything! Is this inbound routing exclusive to the 225 or do other routes do it too? Let me know, because I’m rather curious as to why we didn’t just go to the busway.
|A regular 225 in Quincy that was…right behind us? Oh noooooo…
Route: 225 (Quincy Center Station – Weymouth Landing via Quincy Ave and Shaw Street or Desmoines Road)
Ridership: On weekdays, this is the busiest Quincy bus, with an average of 3,058 riders. It’s not quite as busy on weekends, when commuters aren’t relying on the route, but it still gets an average of 1,335 riders on Saturdays and 653 on Sundays. My outbound trip when I got on at Weymouth Landing had 30 people on it already, while my trip back only had about 15 (since I was going inbound during the evening rush hour). However, I saw buses going the other way that were absolutely packed.
Pros: The 225 evidently runs on an extremely busy corridor, considering how much ridership it gets. The route serves a pretty dense part of Braintree, and if it’s going down to Columbian Square, a huge swath of Weymouth. Plus, it’s quite frequent, running every 10 minutes during rush hour, every half hour during the day and on Saturdays, and every hour nights and Sundays. Okay, every hour isn’t great, but this is a Quincy route, so weekend ridership is significantly lower than during rush hour.
Cons: Why does the route have to be so confusing?! I mean…just look at this schedule:
Can you make heads or tails of it? I know I can’t! And the paper schedule isn’t much better, putting a letter next to each variant of the route. Okay, it’s not so bad on Saturdays, when it’s as simple as every other bus going via Shaw Street, or on Sundays, when all buses take the normal route, but the schedule’s really confusing on weekdays. Speaking of weekdays, why does the route only go to Columbian Square during the week? That’s such a huge part of Weymouth that gets no weekend service! Maybe it doesn’t get a lot of ridership on weekends, but that said, there are a lot of shopping plazas down there. Finally, it would seem the 225 has a bit of a rush hour bunching problem, as my ride seems to have proven…
Nearby and Noteworthy: Okay, okay, so I know I spent the first half of this post complaining about big parking lots. Look, big malls aren’t my thing. I understand that that’s what people need in the suburbs because they need to drive places, but I’m just not a fan. Thus, I didn’t like Columbian Square too much, except for that movie theater. Weymouth Landing seems like a much more interesting place to me.
Final Verdict: 5/10
Okay, so I understand that 225 runs frequently during rush hour and somewhat frequently on weekdays and Saturdays, but it still has a few problems. For one thing, the weekday schedule is quite hard to follow, since the route has so many variations. Also, I think the 225 could stand to run to Columbian Square on Saturdays, considering that there are a few shopping plazas that could get ridership on that part of the route. Finally, there’s the apparent bunching. That’s never a good thing…
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
Do you remember that survey the MBTA ran to choose the designs for its new vehicles? Well, after a bit of an issue with ballot stuffing, the winners were announced! See them here.