Friday, February 4, 2011

Reimagining Public Transit in Worcester - Route 0622 (Current Bus Routes 6 and 22)

Today I want to take a first shot at reimagining Worcester's existing bus routes by looking at WRTA's current Route 6 - West Tatnuck via Chandler St. and Route 22 - Millbury Center via Massasoit Rd. and Route 122A. We'll follow some of the concepts laid out in this earlier AIRLINE post.

Current Bus Routes 6 and 22 (Purple) Reimagined and Overlaid on the Proposed AIRLINE BRT System
In the earlier post we talked about the advantages of moving away from the current hub and spoke system with the hub at City Hall to more of a hybrid hub and spoke and grid system with Union Station serving as the primary hub. Let's look at a few details:
  • Two bus lines are combined as one - Currently to get across town, say West Tatnuck to Broad Meadow Brook on Massasoit Rd., one has to get the Route 6 bus and take it to City Hall; get off this bus (note: I believe some of the buses continue as another line so perhaps they let you stay on?); find out which stop around the Common they need to go to in order to pickup the Route 22 bus and then take the Route 22 bus to Broad Meadow Brook. In the revised system, one simply picks up the Route 0622 bus (the new numbering system a nod to progress while honoring the past) in West Tatnuck and gets off at the front door to Broad Meadow Brook.
  • No needless visit to the hub - Today, to get across town (or even just to another major artery road on your side of town), one needs to take the bus to City Hall and then head back out again to their ultimate destination. In the proposed hybrid system, lines such as the 0622 never come close to the hub (here, at Union Station), instead they cross the AIRLINE at one or more points where users can then take the quicker and more frequent BRT system not only to the hub, but also to other points both east, southwest and north of the hub. Note how the revised 0622 route crosses the AIRLINE at the Junction District stop and also intersects with the proposed visitor trolley service. 

Downtown Detail of Proposed Bus 0622 Route (Purple)

  • More than one option for getting to your destination - Let's say a West Tatnuck resident works at UMASS Memorial - University Campus. The default choice seems to be getting the 0622 bus and transferring to the AIRLINE at the Junction District. However, by simply extending the end of the 0622 bus to connect to the AIRLINE at ORH, a West Tatnuck resident can likely get to UMASS quicker and more efficiently by taking the 0622 bus outbound to ORH and then riding the AIRLINE non-stop to UMASS.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, the 6 continues up Belmont St. Figuring out which bus continues as which is trickier than it has to be.