We headed out from the ITC onto the highway-like Center Street, passing some suburban businesses before turning onto Housatonic Street, whose retail had smaller parking lots. There were houses along here, too, and relatively dense ones at that. A major stop along the route is “Pittsfield Plaza”, which is now…entirely dedicated to a U-Haul center. Yeah, probably not generating a ton of ridership from that.
We got some forest after the plaza, but a few side streets had houses along them. The street became a bit of a hodgepodge, with residential sections, as well as some businesses, a few hotels, and some industrial buildings – that last one especially as we turned onto Lebanon Ave. We used this mostly house-lined street to loop around and head back to Pittsfield.
BRTA Route: 15 (West Pittsfield/Lebanon Ave)
Ridership: These short Pittsfield-based shuttle routes all seem to get similar levels of ridership, and the 15 fits into that mold nicely, with around 62 passengers per weekday and 15 per Saturday. That equates to around 5 people per round trip on weekdays (which isn’t awful given that the BRTA is rural and the round trip is just half an hour), but mine got a whole 10!
Pros: Standard BRTA stuff: an hourly service on weekdays, a defendable bi-hourly service on Saturdays, and a direct route serving a bunch of houses and a few workplaces.
Cons: Nothing like a by-request deviation to a historical museum! If someone actually takes the BRTA to the request-only stop at Hancock Shaker Village, you have my blessing.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Besides Hancock Shaker Village? Nothing much.
Final Verdict: 5/10
I’d put this in the same boat as the 11, but unlike with that route, the 15 doesn’t really have any anchors that could potentially drive ridership up. Maybe transit vouchers for employees at the few factories near the end of the route, but other than that, it’s really just houses. The downfall of Pittsfield Plaza surely didn’t help matters here.
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