So the WRTA decided to make a loop route? Yep, the 31 and the 16 (being covered soon) create a loop around the northeastern side of Worcester. The 31 covers the western and northern edges of the circle, with the 16 covering the rest. I'm not discussing the 16 yet, so this post is just the 31.
The 31's routing is mostly redundant, following the 30 up West Boylston Street, passing the former Greendale Mall and Quinsigamond Community College. The routing of the 31 becomes unqiue when it turns onto East Mountain Street towards Great Brook Valley. Great Brook Valley is a large low-income housing complex, where in 2018 I did some community service work with some friends. The route continues along Tacoma St and Lincoln St to reach the Lincoln Plaza, a strip mall.
The schedule is really weird, and that's possibly due to its interlining with the 16. All 31 trips continue as the 16 to complete the loop. Outbound (towards Lincoln Plaza clockwise) service runs every 40 minutes between 6 am and 10 pm, while service inbound from Lincoln Plaza runs between 7 am and 8 pm with the same 40 minute headways. The loop does see Saturday service, with only 6 outbound 31 trips operating every 80 minutes, but consistent 40 minute headways the other way around between 9 am and 5 pm. There is no Sunday service.
Final thoughts-ish - Full final thoughts on the loop service will come with the 16's post. Going back four years to 2018, when I did community service at Great Brook Valley, this neighborhood and the people in it were the kind of wonderful people grateful for every new day and every experience they witnessed. I saw many smiles on that hot July day, and while I did not see the 31 pass by, I assure you, the reader, that the residents of Great Brook Valley are most likely grateful for the 31 (and the 23) that serve the neighborhood, connecting it to the rest of the city.
Posted: May 28, 2022 02:52