8: Park Avenue Connector

March 13, 2022

In my post on Worcester's Union Station, I mentioned that three WRTA routes do not serve Union Station. I've already covered both the A and B, so I guess it's time to cover the 8.

And my first reaction to this... HOLY SHIT I LOVE IT.

This is the definition of a crosstown bus route. The route runs along Park Ave in Worcester and meets up with a number of other routes, which are the 2, 3, 6, 7, 19, 25, 27, 30, 31, and 33. Side note here - the WRTA really needs to update its system map. The map is from 2017 and doesn't even have the 8 on there! This must be a new addition to the system, and is a great decision for a hub-based system like the WRTA. All passengers would have to transfer and wait at Union Station for a second bus to take them to their destinations.

But the WRTA always has to fuck something up. This route only runs on weekdays. Seriously? This is your one crosstown route (I wouldn't call the 16 a crosstown) and you only run it on weekdays! Well I guess passengers can always transfer at Union Station on weekends. Also, why the hell does the schedule label the directions as "east" and "west"? This is clearly a north-south route.

On top of that, the route runs with an hourly frequency from 7 am to 8 pm. The route runs between Webster Square Plaza, in the southwest of Worcester, to a doctor's office in the north of Worcester. The route used to run to the Greendale Mall, but that was demolished in the summer of 2021. I visited the Greendale Mall once or twice in my life. But 7 am? Are you serious? I've seen the suburban routes of the WRTA, notably the 4 and 15 do better than that.

So maybe "HOLY SHIT I LOVE IT" was the wrong reaction. Overall, I really like the 8. It could do with some expanded service, in both frequency and hours operated. Crosstown routes are some of the best bus routes to ever exist, and there should really be more of them. It's nice to see Worcester add one into their operations over the last few years.