WARNING: copious amounts of caps and cursing incoming. Reader’s discretion advised.
Dear god, this one was a troublemaker. Enough so to where it took me multiple attempts to even ride it. Let’s run through them, shall we?
ATTEMPT #1: So I was on the 71 and I pull the cord for Pawtucket and- wait, what? WHAT?! The fucking driver just DROVE OFF without even stopping like he’s supposed to?! What the FUCK gives?! Like, I get you’re probably late and all, but you gotta pick people up too!
ATTEMPT #2: Alrighty, round 2! So, I got off the 80 with about 10 minutes to spare, NOT MISSING IT THIS TIME! And, holy crap, the bus actually stopped. And, with that, I boarded the bus. To sum up the “difficulty” of the route, if the 54 is the route from Hell, the 73 is more likened to trying to catch a shiny Abra in Pokemon without any level of preparation. Not the worst, but definitely an annoying bug to squash.
So starting off, we pulled out of Roosevelt Avenue onto Exchange Street, which then became Goff Avenue. From here, we turned down Main Street, turned again to stay on Main Street, then it became the route’s namesake – Mineral Spring Avenue. Normally, this road is a traffic nightmare, if my experience on the 58 is to go by. But, unlike this route, the 58 doesn’t go into Pawtucket. Going straight down, we crossed over the Northeast Corridor (which had a MBTA train led by an F40PH passing under as I was going over!)
Going down Mineral Spring, it was a bit of everything to be seen. Houses, old mills, businesses of various types. And, at least traffic was free-flowing. And, huh, this thing actually gets ridership. Surprising. Nevertheless, we pressed on down Mineral Spring, passing Smithfield Avenue and, eventually, Route 146.
However, we didn’t meet RI-146 at Mineral Spring. Instead, we met with it after going down Charles Street. No express today! So, we pressed on up Charles Street and RI-246, to then deviate into Twin River and the Lincoln CCRI campus. And FINALLY, the route was over.
The good: It’s a one-seat ride to the two major places in Lincoln!
The bad: It’s on-time performance can be bad, with drivers sometimes outright skipping Pawtucket. Yikes. It also doesn’t run on weekends.
Nearby points of interest: The casino and CCRI mainly. Maybe Mineral Spring Avenue.
Overall, this route can be really tricky to work with. On-time performance is just bad enough to where the driver might skip Pawtucket entirely. However, it also does give one-seat rides to destinations warranting transfers to Providence, namely the CCRI campus and more importantly, the casino.