Hang on, what’s this about there being a 44? It’s not on Massport’s website! My friend found it on the Transit app a few days ago, and it’s an odd specimen. According to the app, it runs between Airport Station and the Logan Office Center (also served by the 66), then it uses Harborside Drive to loop around back to the station. It only runs on weekends, from 5 AM to 7 PM, and 11 PM (9:30 PM on Sundays) to 1 AM.
Given Massport’s track record with its GTFS data and thus the Transit app (it’s awful – as an example, it shows that the 66 skips the station while the 88 serves it, which is totally wrong), I was skeptical that this bus even existed. But nope, I got to Airport Station at around 12:30 AM and it was up on the countdown clock! The time stayed at 14 minutes for a while, then it started ticking down at hyper speed. And then, there it was…
“You going to the harbor?” the driver asked. The harbor? Like, where the ferries leave from? I guess that would be fine, although Transit said nothing about the route going there. “Sure!” I replied. I headed to the back of the completely empty bus, and we pulled away onto Transportation Way.
The road curved alongside the airport’s twisting highway system, passing the Rental Car Center and some parking lots. It became Harborside Drive as we ran between two structures: Terminal A’s second building, and the Logan Office Center, which had a bus shelter. This is the route’s only stop according to Transit, but we just sailed past it (no one was waiting).
As we approached the ferry terminal, I got ready to get off. But…no, we ran past that, too. Harborside Drive curved eastward and gained a huge grassy median. There was a big wall on one side separating the road from a runway, while the other side was lined with airline cargo buildings. The road ended and we just looped around the median, arriving at a fancy bus shelter outside the Delta building. The driver opened the doors. I guess this was the harbor.
Logan Airport Shuttle Route: Logan Airport Shuttle: 44 (Serves subway station and LOC)
Ridership: Well…looked like no one! I would’ve thought the peak direction would’ve been towards the harbor late at night, maybe for people working odd hours. Apparently not, because my bus was empty, but there wasn’t anyone waiting to take it back towards the station, either.
Pros: The 44’s biggest asset is its speed – since it doesn’t have to serve the terminals, you get to go straight down to the harbor area.
Cons: This one reallyyyyy doesn’t seem like it needs to exist. Like, if its goal is to run when the 66 doesn’t (which seems like the goal), why doesn’t it run on weekdays, when the 66 runs almost the exact same span of service? Why does the harbor area only get a direct link to Airport Station during the 44’s very specific running times? Why does the 44 start earlier on Sundays while the 66 has the same span, meaning that for an hour and a half, the harbor area gets double the service? This route just seems haphazardly inserted into the network to accommodate very few (if any) riders.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Just a buncha cargo buildings.
Final Verdict: 1/10
As far as I can tell, this route has no reason to exist. Maybe it gets way more riders on every other trip, but mine got absolutely no one, and even if the others are busy, there are still a lot of things about it that make no sense. Heck, Massport doesn’t even list it on its website! Shouldn’t that say something?
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