What was my first impression of the 9? Well, I couldn’t really form one…because the bus never showed up! Sam and I got to the first stop five minutes early, but I guess that was a little too late – the rascal left before we got there. All was lost. We weren’t going to complete the system in a day. “No,” I declared. “You know what? Screw the 9. If it’s not going to dignify us with a ride, then let’s not do it.” So…we were going to drive the route.

Here we go…

We curved around onto Pleasant Street, which was lined with dense houses. At the awkward intersection between the FR 9 and the NB 9, we turned onto Eastern Ave, a wide road with a grassy median. It was still mostly residential, but we also went by a park. We eventually turned onto Bedford Street, starting an annoying jog – this would be weird to do in a car.

Typical scenery.

We turned onto Stonehaven Road, going by much more suburban houses than before, as well as the Diman Vocational Technical High School – I think that was the main reason for this deviation. We turned onto Locust Street next, then Oak Grove Ave, where the houses started to get denser. Once we got back onto Bedford Street, they were back to being quite dense, and businesses in between were appearing more and more often. That culminated in downtown Fall River, where we made our way around to the terminal…or just outside it, since cars aren’t allowed in the busway.

The “bus”.

This is the NB 9…but you can’t tell the difference, can you? Mwahaha.

SRTA Route: FR 9 (Bedford Street)

Ridership: Wow…400 people per day in May 2014? That’s…way more than I would’ve thought! Then again, I did the route in a private car, so I really had no idea how many people the bus got. It does serve a lot of dense neighborhoods.

Pros: Like I said, the 9 serves a bunch of dense neighborhoods, and it has a good ol’ half-hourly schedule on weekdays.

Cons: First of all, for the ridership this route gets, I would expect half-hourly Saturday service (versus the current hourly schedule) and even Sunday service, as well as night service (right now the route ends at around 6 PM). Also, there has to be a layover point somewhere on this route! I mean, Pleasant Street at Eastern Ave (a little further from where I was trying to board) is technically the “start” of it, so maybe it lays over there? But knowing the SRTA, I’ll bet buses just leave whenever they arrive. That is unacceptable.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Houses, and some businesses that didn’t look too appealing. Yup.

Final Verdict: 4/10
Look, the bus left so early that I couldn’t even catch it. It’s probably more of a 5/10 route, but that fact alone is worth a point off. Probably should be more than one, but the 9 isn’t that bad otherwise. Darn it.
UPDATE: Turns out the ridership numbers for this route were accidentally copied over from the 10. The graph shows the real numbers, which are a lot more mediocre, around 150 people per day. Now the schedule makes more sense. Honestly…this is more like a 2/10, given the ridership, plus the earliness.

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