5: Union Station - Blithewood & Massasoit via Grafton St

June 5, 2022

I've already looked at the 12, the route that replaced the old 5 to the Southwest Commons. So where does the current 5 go?

The current 5 is basically the same as the 12, but better. The 5 runs alongside the 12 all the way down Grafton Street, past the South Plaza, until it reaches Blithewood Ave. The 5 continues down Blithewood Ave until Massassoit Rd (the intersection is the route's namesake), where it then turns to end at Broad Meadow Brook, a nature reserve not too far from the intersection the route is named after. Nothing special, just a residential route during its independent section.

The 5 is far better than the 12 when it comes to scheduling. If you remember, the 12 ran weekdays only with 50 minute headways and a weird mid-day trip to North High School to coincide with dismissal. The 5 also has a North High deviation, but in the morning. This is the first outbound trip of the day, and actually continues back to the main route and short turns at the South Plaza at 7:30 am. This trip doesn't put a weird gap in outbound trips, as it is the first trip of the day. Outbound trips runs every hour until the last one leaves at 8 pm. Inbound trips, however, start at 5:28 am from Broad Meadow Brook and run hourly until 8:28 pm (there is no 7:28 am trip due to the short-turn at South Plaza).

The 5 also has weekend service! On Saturdays, there is a round-trip leaving Union Station at 6 am, but hourly service doesn't begin until the next trip at 8 am and continues until 4 pm. There is one more trip to Broad Meadow Brook at 6 pm, and then the final trip at 8 pm short-turns at South Plaza. Sunday service is similar, with hourly service between 10 am and 4 pm, with a 5 pm trip short-turning at South Plaza.

Final thoughts - The 5 brings weekend service to the southeast part of the city. On weekdays, the combined section with the 12 is like the 3 and the 6 - The routes run with different frequencies, so times between buses really depends on what time of day. Buses can be 5 minutes or 40 minutes apart. But the 5 is a good route for the WRTA and the residential areas in the southeast.

Posted: Jun 7, 2022 21:56


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