Alrighty, the first of the three Beach Bus posts! Let’s get into these seasonal routes. Now, initially, RIPTA wanted to axe the Beach Bus for low ridership, but Governor Dan McKee told them “no”, and as such I have to review these. Well, let’s look at this odd route.
Now, I hung around in Galilee for a bit since I had over an hour to spare before the bus left, but eventually 3:05 came and I walked to the bus stop at the ferry terminal. “Nope”, I had to say twice. Then the Woonsocket bus came and I got on.
So the route begins by doing the 69’s local section through Roger Wheeler and Scarborough. However, from here, it instead goes express immediately instead of doing any deviations or heading towards URI. And it was quite the ride. We basically expressed for a whole 1 and a half hours. That is, from Salt Pond all the way to Woonsocket. That’s 50+ miles and around an hour straight minimum. Fortunately, since it was just me, we skipped Kennedy Plaza, which helped a little. Weirdly enough, there’s also a timepoint for Providence Station – with no scheduled stops. Yeah, that’s an odd one. Eventually we did make it to Woonsocket – at John Cummings Way in front of the Community Care Alliance. Now surely my return trip from here on the 54 isn’t going to be painful, right? Right??? *laughs very nervously*
The good: It’s a direct, VERY express, link between Woonsocket and Galilee, as well as Scarborough and Wheeler Beaches.
The bad: It’s VERY long. Like, almost 1 and a half hours long. However, any route going to Galilee from Providence or points north are doomed to be long anyways. Also, maybe they were right about lack of ridership, however that could come down to the day being bad for a beach trip in general (it was cold).
Nearby points of interest: Galilee and Woonsocket, not much to add.
Overall, it’s a nice concept. But, it’s oftentimes going to be a very long ride and likely cost-inefficient for RIPTA. I will concede though, that it’d be nice for a Beach Bus-like program to exist between CCRI’s Warwick campus and Oakland Beach in Warwick.