11: South Attleboro Connector

May 18, 2022

I’m going to write about another RTA crosstown today, this time GATRA’s 11. And because it’s GATRA, it’s messed up one way or another.

At first glance, this is a good route. It’s a crosstown, of course it’s good at first glance. The 11 is the only Attleboro route to not terminate or stop at the Attleboro Transit Center, but instead connects a number of shopping centers in Attleboro with … uhh … the south part of Attleboro. Yeah, GATRA doesn’t fully understand the idea of a crosstown, but B for effort I guess.

The route starts at the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro, goes down Route 1 (a 4 lane stroad, yay), deviating towards both the Target and Walmart right near each other. It deviates again down the road to the Stop and Shop in Attleboro. It then turns west towards the intersection of Mendon and Brown. This is in the middle of a residential area in Attleboro, so serving it is a good thing. This is also served by the 24 (more on the 24 later). It continues to Broadway and Benefit in Pawtucket. GATRA serves Pawtucket, where connection is available to RIPTA’s 1. Nice little connection to have. There’s a few other places where they connect.

Scheduling for this crosstown-ish route? It’s an RTA, so hourly will have to do. It runs between 6 am and 7 pm outbound on weekdays, but only 5:40 am to 5:30 pm inbound. On Saturdays the route runs 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and there is no Sunday service at all.

There’s one weekday outbound trip that does bother me. The 1:50 pm trip, which replaces the 2:10 pm that would occur with hourly service (so trips leave Emerald Square at 1:10, 1:50, 3:10, and on). This trip makes a massive deviation to serve Attleboro High School, 4 miles away from the main route. There is no inbound equivalent to this either. This also only runs when school is in session, so what happens when school isn’t in session? Is the trip just skipped and there’s a weird 2 hour gap in the schedule?

So why did I call this crosstown-ish? A crosstown bus route is meant to connect two parts of a bus network without passing through a central hub. On one end of the 11 is South Attleboro with the 12 and 24. Nearby is North Attleboro with the 10 and 14, and the so-called “North Hub” (see the 14's post for more on that). At Emerald Square, there is a connection to the 10, meaning that technically the 11 connects both South and North Attleboro. However, the 12 also serves Emerald Square, so the 11 is kind of useless. It would be better to extend the 11 all the way to the North Hub in North Attleboro, keep the 14 as is, and eliminate the 10 due to its redundancy.

Now what about the 24? The 24 runs between Pawtucket and the Attleboro Transit Center, deviating to Attleboro High School sometimes, along the same route the 11 takes during that one deviation. With GATRA’s proposed service changes with no effective date, the 24 is planned to be eliminated, and the 12 will be extended to fully replace the 24. The 12 also serves the high school, so it’s good that GATRA is eliminating some redundancy.

GATRA’s proposed service changes also bring some change to the 11. There is no deviation to the high school in this proposal, and the 11 is extended to the Market Basket in South Attleboro. Another supermarket… and it’s already served by both RIPTA (the 1 and 35) and GATRA (the 16). God damn it GATRA.

Final thoughts? Make this thing a true crosstown by replacing the 10.

Posted: May 19, 2022 00:40