Recently, I reviewed the 93 which is part of my usual commute into work most of the time. Usually I end up taking the first bus that shows up heading towards Charlestown. Some of the time, this ends up being the 92 which is a good contrast to the busier 93 route. To see the contrast, grab your iced coffee and meet me at Haymarket.
In downtown Boston, the 92 and 93 run together and the headways are usually coordinated in this area. As soon as they cross the Charles, the 92 breaks off and goes through the other half of Charlestown on Main Street. While the 93 goes through areas of tourist interest, the 92 goes through a somewhat more commercial area including going by the Charlestown Mall built on the site of the former Thompson Square station of the Charlestown El. At the three-way intersection of Main, Bunker Hill and Medford streets where I usually get off, the 92 reunites with the 93 heading into Sullivan Square and during morning rush and at night the two share a terminal.
From approximately 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, the 92 runs up to the in-transition Assembly Square site in Somerville, linking the collection of big box stores currently there to Charlestown and downtown Boston. With the area seeing redevelopment including an IKEA and an Orange Line stop, in a few years this area will be interesting and the 92 is a bit of a front-row seat to the burgeoning new development.
Route: 92 (Assembly Square-Downtown via Main St). Rating (1-10): 5
Ridership: Largely local with people heading from downtown to Charlestown and vice-versa with some bound for Assembly Square. This makes it a calmer alternative to the 93 for those heading from Charlestown to downtown or vice versa; whereas my outbound 93 often is packed the 92 behind it might have only a handful of riders.
Pros: It’s a secondary link to Charlestown and is a bit more relaxed than its counterpart a few blocks away. While the 93 often stops at every stop between City Square and Sullivan, the 92 often will go near-nonstop between the two. Being one of the few local bus routes to start downtown, as with the 93, is also a plus.
Cons: This route falls to a 5 for two huge reasons:
1: No Sunday service. With the 93 running only every 40 minutes during the day then, this could be seen as a downside though with much of the route not far from the 93 (and for many, Community College on the Orange Line) this may be more than just a minor inconvenience.
2: The hours of Assembly Square service seem marketed a lot more to shoppers than those who may actually work there. Though there is alternative service via the 90 from Davis/Wellington and the 95 from West Medford/Sullivan, running around the clock to Assembly Square would probably help get more workers there to jobs in the interim before the Orange Line opens there.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Coffee shops that aren’t Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts are sometimes a rare breed in this day and age and the fact that Charlestown has an independent coffeeshop in Zume’s right in its commercial heart. One of these mornings I’ll have to actually stop in…
And more: There are 134 Commuter Rail stations in the MBTA/MBCR system. Someone’s trying to stop, photograph, and explore them and is trying to do it in a month. Wish her luck!