11: Union Station - Fair Plaza

May 25, 2022

Something I really like about the WRTA is how they serve almost every part of Worcester. (Looking at the northwest which doesn't.) Seems appropriate that there is a bus to the southernmost point in the entire city of Worcester (not really the southernmost point, but really close), which happens to be near a strip mall where the 11 terminates, because the WRTA is a small city bus system.

The route starts at Union Station and travels through the notorious Kelley Square (a rite of passage for every Worcester area driver born in 2003 or earlier, as they were old enough to drive when it was actual hell), goes through the residential Vernon Hill neighborhood, deviates to Walmart (this is the WRTA we're talking about), and continues down Greenwood St to the Fair Plaza near the Auburn and Millbury town lines. It's a mostly direct routing and has a pretty good residential to commercial balance, allowing one-seat rides to popular destinations for area residents.

The schedule is also really good, but has some quirks. Headways are mostly consistent, every 20 to 40 minutes on weekdays between 5 am and 9 pm. This could use some evening out, especially a couple of times on weekday mornings (outbound) and afternoons (inbound) where trips are 10 minutes apart. After 9 pm, trips are hourly until 11 pm. Saturdays are, as expected for the WRTA. Trips run every 60 to 70 minutes between 6 am and 10 pm. Good that it has all day service on Saturdays, but those frequencies are a sharp decrease from weekdays. Even on Sundays, frequencies are pretty good. The route runs hourly from 9 am to noon (inbound) and 8:30 am to 11:30 am (outbound), but then runs every 30 minutes until 4 pm, when trips continue every hour until 7 pm. Half hourly Sunday service is a big benefit for the 11.

On weekdays and Saturdays, inbound trips interline with the 24, providing service to the eastern end of the city.

Final thoughts? The 11 is really good for the WRTA. I do wish that Saturday frequencies were brought to at least the same level as weekdays and Sundays, where services are about every half hour. I like the all day service provided on weekdays and mostly all day service on weekends (with better than average Sunday hours).

Posted: May 25, 2022 19:04