Usually, I’d write some witty (and sometimes long-winded) preface to act as a hook for a route review. This time out, it’s hard to spin the circumstances of why I rode the SL2 into something that can be witty. If anyone wants the story, tweet me.
In contrast to the busy SL1 which links South Station, the Red Line, and the southside Commuter Rail routes to Logan Airport, the SL2 is the lesser of the two routes that make up Silver Line Waterfront. Leaving South Station, it follows the South Boston Piers Transitway through the overwrought excess of Courthouse and the slightly more utilitarian World Trade Center before reaching Silver Line Way, a switch from electric to diesel, and the split of the two routes.
The solo portion of the SL2 is a simple loop on Northern Ave, Dry Dock Ave, Black Falcon Ave, and Terminal Street. Most development in this area is of former warehouses converted to offices and other industrial uses. Turning onto Black Falcon Ave, Cruiseport Boston comes into view, often with massive cruise ships in port during the warmer months. Right after coming close to whatever ship may be in port, it then follows a path that is literally inches from the water which even I found to be a bit harrowing. Returning into deeper land, the SL2 reaches its “terminus” at Design Center before closing the loop back to Silver Line Way.
With the fast rate of development on the Waterfront, in the future the SL2 may be more spectacular especially as more businesses and people move in along its route. Nowadays it is more of a placeholder for future use with some generators and not much else for now.
Route: SL2 (Silver Line: South Station-Design Center)
Rating (1-10): 5
Ridership: For those who got off after Silver Line Way, heavily commuters who work in that area with three main generators otherwise: the Harpoon brewery, Design Center, and Cruiseport Boston. There are some residences around Design Center and a lot of the Cruiseport traffic are of locals going on cruises more than intrepid tourists not wanting to do excursion tours via faux trolley or duck boat.
Pros: Save for the 4 during rush-hour patching in the Waterfront to North Staion, there is no other transit in this area and one route with very decent service is better than none.
Cons: There isn’t much there right now to see along the route unless you like beer. Or gawking at cruise ships. Or interior design. This is more a placeholder for a fully developed Waterfront aside from the three major generators (and when the heck will the Waterfront get a supermarket or a CVS…).