3: Union Station - Worcester State University

May 23, 2022

For a hub-based system like the WRTA, destinations close to the hub can often be reached by multiple different bus routes. This can be seen on the WRTA, one example I've covered being the 19 and 33. Another example involves the 3 and the 6 to Worcester State University, two routes to serving the same place, but along different roads. I'll save the rant about the 6 for a later date, but now, the 3.

I initally thought that the 3 would be redundant compared to the 6, thinking that trip times from Union Station would be longer on the 3, but that's not the case. The 3 runs along Highland St and avoids Main St through downtown, which is already covered by the 24. The route passes by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Elm Park, and Doherty High School before turning south towards Worcester State University.

Frequencies on the 3 are imbalanced. The route runs with 40 minute frequencies between 5 am and noon. From noon until 8 pm, when operations end, the route runs hourly. It does this in both directions. Even crazier, Saturday service is actually better than weekday service. As expected, Saturday service only runs between 10 am and 5 pm, but the 3 runs with consistent 40 minuute headways. The route takes 15 minutes outbound and 20 minutes inbound (due to one-way streets) to travel.

Final thoughts? The 3 is a pretty good and useful route. I'm saving my comparisons with the 6 for when I actually write a post about the 6. My only suggestion would be to even out the frequencies during the day. The jump between 40 and 60 minutes is quite odd and should probably be fixed.

The 3 is the closest route to the Worcester Art Museum (if that's your kind of thing). I went there in December and they have a really good collection there. The museum is free on the first Sunday of each month, so check it out if you're in the area. (I was not paid for this paragraph, my blog is too unknown for that. Go give me a follow on Twitter and share this blog or something.)


One of the works on display at the museum is a giant Buddhist head from the Chinese (Yuan Dynasty in the 13th and 14th centuries).

Posted: May 23, 2022 20:39