Thursday, September 18, 2008

School Trips On Route 171!?

Recently, I was looking at a CT3/171 schedule card from Winter Rating 2003. I have a pretty extensive archive of throwback schedules going back decades by the way. Anyway, so up in the corner I spot the 171 schedule information and get this! There are two school trips (i.e. trips added for the convenience of student riders) listed at 6:45AM from Dudley Station and 2:40PM from Airport Station.

Wait a minute, school trips on the 171? What's going on here?

The 171 operates two very early morning trips from Dudley Station to Logan Airport. Departing at 3:50AM and 4:20AM, few people know about its existence. The 171 provides transportation to and from Logan for employees whose shifts start/end before regular MBTA service hours. So what use would this route be for kids going to school?

I was stumped, so I consulted the wise Jonathan Belcher...

As it turns out, there was actually a group of students who took the CT3 (when it operated between Andrew Station and Logan Airport) from South Boston to a school in East Boston near Airport Station. Once that segment of the line was discontinued and replaced by the 171, the T figured that there might still be a demand. Thus, they created the school trips. As it turns out, not a single kid used the trips. They decided to take the Blue Line instead. These trips lasted only one rating (about three months). Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Also, I have finally taken a ride on the six-car Blue Line trains! The ride is much more comfortable, no more being stuffed into the cars during rush hour. Good job, Dan! Much appreciated!

Finally, it appears that I can upload videos to this blog. So expect some Boeing-Vertol LRV home movies soon!

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