I love Lowell (So there. I said it.) but sometimes dealing with the infrastructure of a town this simultaneously large, diverse and cranky is like being sucked into a time warp.
Take for example the local bus company, the Lowell Regional Transit Authority.
On the one hand, the company does a great job - it will get you from an array of locations around Lowell to the center of town and to the commuter rail every hour for a buck, or it will get you from an array of locations around Lowell to any of the other locations around Lowell for a buck fifty if you're willing to wait for a transfer, and there are discounts for daily use. Nifty. It doesn't run outside of some fairly normal hours that include, apparently, Sundays, but let's leave that for the moment. It does what it can.
What the bus company apparently CAN'T do is tell you where to catch your bus or what route it might be taking because their maps aren't labeled with street names - unless you know where you are, how that location connects with every other important location in the region and how to get where you're going by, I'm guessing, echolocation, you'll never figure it out without asking somebody who already knows. It's like the LRTA assumed that people would get to their destination eventually so decided not to worry about telling anybody that they actually existed. The maddening thing is, that's exactly what happens so nobody bothers to tell them that their entire system is fundamentally flawed because (and I love how typical of New England this is) everybody manages to get where they're going so why bother to complain?
Their website hasn't been redesigned since it was built; it's so ninties-tastic it makes the eyeballs bleed. It took me two hours to figure out how to get to a job interview.
What a mess. I was going to write them a note, but I figured out how to get there by poring over four or five maps and didn't have it in me afterwords. Maybe they're onto something.