Ah, the 30. Truth be told, this route is a personal favorite with the fact it’s as straight a shot to Providence as possible between it, the 21, and the 22. I also happened to do this with another friend, who instead wishes to remain anonymous. Let’s look at the route, shall we?
We start off at CCRI, with quite possibly the ugliest college campus building in the state. Just like the 21, we pull out down to East Ave., however unlike the 21 we do NOT deviate into Rhode Island Mall. Instead, we just take a right towards Greenwich Ave., and then a left. From here, we went straight down and towards the mall, deviating into it. We did the mall deviation then pulled back out to Greenwich Ave., which was soon Oaklawn Ave.
Of course, while the 21 and 22 go down Mayfield Ave., the 30 instead keeps going straight. Several people got on going down Oaklawn Ave. After a few miles and fancy-looking apartments that look like they belong to rich people, the road reached a roundabout, and we went down Cranston Street from here. Soon enough, we were in Knightsville. From here, one can transfer to the 17.
We kept going straight, then hooked a right at the church and cemetary. From here, we kept going straight and past Dyer Avenue, where one can also transfer to the 17. Instead, we went straight and took a left to keep on Cranston Street. Down here were mostly businesses and some houses, with Carolina Street bringing one to Brewery Parkade, where the 31 terminates. Further down was another Dollar Tree, an empty plot of land and OH GOD WE’RE EXPRESS NOW! Yeah, we got on RI-10 and expressed all the way to downtown from here. Fortunately traffic wasn’t bad as we expressed to Memorial Boulevard and, soon enough, Kennedy Plaza.
The good: It’s direct! It’s about as straight a shot to Providence as one can get from CCRI. It’s also pretty efficient as a commuter-oriented route. Ridership data also supports that it’s better as such, with just under 600 daily riders on average. It also happens to be the first morning bus out of CCRI! However….
The bad: Unlike the 21 and 22, it’s also not as frequent. Every 50 minutes vs. every 30 for the other two. I also wonder if there’d be any benefit to a Brewery Parkade deviation here.
Overall, it’s a good route. It’s direct and one of the faster ways between CCRI and downtown Providence. Its schedule is probably the biggest pitfall, but it’s still not terrible for a commuter-oriented route. At least, I think it is one. I’d certainly up the frequency to 30 minutes and coordinate it with the 21 and 22 for CCRI-Providence service every 10 minutes out of CCRI. And that’s before the 14 and 66 are brought into the picture! But maybe, the ridership doesn’t justify a frequency increase.