Pawtucket/Central Falls (MBTA/RIPTA)

Wait, there’s ANOTHER MBTA opening?! Well shit, let’s look at it at the crack of dawn! I mean, if I can do the GLX where pretty much all the cards were stacked against me, I can pretty much do anything. Besides, it’s been pretty much exactly 42 years since an MBTA train last stopped here. So, let’s look at it, shall we?

Signage!

So, I Ubered up to the area at around 3 AM with a 3:30 arrival. It was downpouring, so being able to take refuge under the overpass was a godsend. Speaking of which, the entire station was well lit, I almost mistook it for a sporting arena for a moment! Parking? 200 whole spaces! Add that to not one but TWO dropoff areas and a busway, and you have a decent enough bus terminal. But they had to screw up with two things: There’s no heating AND there’s no bathrooms or indoor area! Like, dammit RIDOT, why did you have to shaft RIPTA like that?! Also, engineered out bathrooms?! WHO DOES THAT?! Did I mention bus connections?! You get 10 of them. TEN! ALL the Pawtucket-area routes stop here!

That’s a LOT of lighting!
Looking southbound with a very enthusiastic Miles
And the other way
People from Keolis were giving out swag, including buttons, luggage tags, and umbrellas
Redundant elevators, in normal MBTA fashion
The mezzanine

Alrighty, so the Commuter Rail section of the station itself is pretty decent. Full level boarding, Helvetica signage, an updated system map (with the South Coast extension, woohoo!), and redundant elevators that didn’t smell like urine but probably do now. There’s also departure boards, something lacking at T.F. Green and Wickford. Art is present in the form of a yarn ball, which represents the area’s historical ties to the textile industry. And, lastly, although the station has three tracks, the third track is just a freight siding that never sees passenger use, so the platform setup is more akin to New London’s in that you have a side and island, but the island is essentially just another side platform with one side blocked off.

The ball
The skeleton of the old station looms ahead…
And looking towards Providence and Wickford!
First train!

From here, we had a small gathering, mainly consisting of a few people including Dylan, Miles (stay tuned for the video on this station!), Daria, Jordan (who had to head back up to Boston shortly after returning), Zoe, and a few others whose names slip past my exhausted mind (I barely got sleep and am running on a 2hr power nap right now!), and we proceeded onwards. Initially, the plan was we’d get off at Attleboro, but instead we shifted to Mansfield. So, we took #800 out to Mansfield, got off, waited in the miserable weather, and got on #801 back to Pawtucket. By the time we got back, and we heard the “train approaching” warning going off (which, at the time, were not in the most functional of states), we saw an Acela coming through to which we gave some fanfare for being the first Amtrak train to express through. After all this, several of us left and it boiled down to six of us, including Miles, Dylan, and I, and we got breakfast at the Modern Diner, and after which everyone aside from Miles and Dylan left. Here’s that video, by the way!

Empty comet car
See ya!
Mansfield feels like the nighttime version of the first level of Tony Hawk’s Underground
MMMMMM, DIESEL!
First Amtrak of the day!
See ya! – and Channel 10!
South Coast extension!

The good: It’s right near the downtown of two MAJOR, and very populated cities! There hasn’t been revenue service around here since the ’80s when the old station was pretty much abandoned by the MBTA, and RIDOT finally replaced it – 17 years after building a rail yard nearby for Keolis. And, for what it’s worth, it’s decent but it’s got one MAJOR flaw that prevents it from being more than an above average station. Plus, you have all of RIPTA’s Pawtucket-area routes, and weekend service on the MBTA too! It’s hella more than Wickford! And, if this was my first impression of Rhode Island, after living in Boston or wherever else, I’d say this place would make a pretty good first impression. You also have a small commuter lot, 200 spaces, for what it’s worth.

The bad: Remember when I said there’s one major flaw? Yeah, it’s the bathrooms and lack of an indoor waiting area. Sure, the shelters could be rectified with heating, and if I remember someone from RIPTA said they’d be looking into installing heaters, but the fact RIDOT valued out bathrooms and indoor waiting areas is HORRIBLE. What were they thinking?! And it’s a major terminal for buses, too!
(POST EDIT: Apparently even the Commuter Rail part got value engineered to hell! There were plans for two additional tracks so that Amtrak trains can express, but RIDOT really said “nope!” Stuff like this is probably why the Providence Line is neutered, and that’s not considering the lack of electrified tracks in Attleboro, Warwick, and North Kingstown!)

Nearby points of interest: You’ve got Slater Mill and the various local-owned shops of Pawtucket and Central Falls! Hasbro HQ isn’t too far, either. If you’re like Miles and Jackson and enjoy diners, you’ve also got the Modern Diner, which has a streamlined design (apparently the last of its kind?!), and even that aside they have pretty decent food. Just don’t play around near the Wyatt Detention Center. A ticket machine for RIPTA and the Commuter Rail would be nice too.

Overall, it’s a very, VERY good station for what it is. Yes, it’s majorly lacking and the bathrooms are just porta-toilets (which, I don’t count), but for what it does have, it’s a pretty good station with a mix of foamer potential, bus service, WEEKEND SERVICE (*cough unlike Wickford*), and decent geography near two major town centers. And, for that, I still think it’s worthy of a high rating, but not a 9 or 10.

Rating: 7.5/10

And below are some foamer shots I got over the course of the morning!

Freight!
Same train, but the ass!
The dignitary train!
Oh, hi!
And leaving. Oh look, foamers.
And another one!
A Regional crests the bend
The ribboncutting ceremony!
Well that’s a freakin’ lie!
And another one!
TWO OF THEM?!
Overhead Acela!
Another P&W!
The ass of that train
Overhead Regional!
Bye!

204 Flex (Westerly)

Alrighty, so what do you do if you fail to catch the 95X in the early morning and can’t afford $8 for an Amtrak ticket? Why, you ride this Flex, of course! Let’s take a look.

WARNING: copious amounts of colorful language and caps ahead. Read at own discretion.

My lunch

So after eating a calzone for lunch at a local bakery, I sit there waiting for the 204 Flex. And I wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually I see a Flex van pull in and- what???

WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING IN REVERSE BACKING OUT OF THE PARKING LOT?!

NO! NO! PLEASE NO! WHY ARE YOU GOING IN REVERSE, AND LEAVING THE PARKING LOT?! THERE’S SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO FUCKING RIDE THE 204 WAITING RIGHT HERE!! AND TO PROVE I’M NOT BEING A KAREN ABOUT THIS, HERE’S THE TIMEPOINTS WITH SCHEDULES.

12:15 PM!!!!!!! I WAS HERE AT 12:15 PM AND IT JUST NOPED THE FUCK OUT!

YOU CAN’T JUST NOPE THE FUCK OUT OF A BUS STOP LIKE THAT, WHEN YOU’RE LITERALLY THE ONLY WAY IN AND OUT OF WESTERLY OUTSIDE THE MORNING AND EVENING RUSH HOUR COMMUTES! THIS IS WHORE SHIT TO THE HIGHEST DEGREE, AND QUITE POSSIBLY EVEN WORSE THAN THE 54. YES, I’VE SAID IT. THIS IS EVEN WORSE THAN THE BUS ROUTE FROM HELL. AT LEAST THAT COMES REGULARLY. THIS THING ONLY COMES, AS YOU CAN SEE, THREE TIMES A DAY TOTAL, AND I WASN’T ABOUT TO FUCKING WAIT UNTIL 2:50 WITH A REAL RISK OF MISSING THE 3:40 INBOUND RUN OF THE 95X. UH, NO THANKS! LIKE, THIS SHIT IS INEXCUSABLE. I’M TALKING “WHOOPS, I ACCIDENTALLY CREATED PLUMBING ISSUES AT WALMART WITH MY COLLEAGUES” LEVELS OF INEXCUSABLE.

Now, let’s see where it WOULD go, if it showed up. From here, it’d get on US Rte. 1 and begin running express to Westerly, which takes a while with how remote it is. In between, much of the northern part of the city, along with the Walmart Supercenter, is in the Flex zone. The last timepoint (first, rather) is Westerly Station, where one can transfer to the 95X and 301.

The good: It’s a mission-critical link between Westerly and the rest of the state outside the morning/evening commutes!

The bad: IF THE FUCKING BUS DOESN’T SHOW UP, YOU’RE SCREWED.

Nearby points of interest: The Stedman Center and Salt Pond Plaza, along with Westerly primarily.

Overall, WHY IS THIS NOT A FIXED ROUTE RUNNING REGULARLY?! MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, IF IT WERE, THEN NO-SHOWS WOULDN’T BE SUCH A MAJOR FUCKING ISSUE!

Rating: 2.5/10

203 Flex (Narragansett/S. Kingstown)

Alrighty, the second to last “extra” content for RIPTA: the 203 Flex. This one largely mirrors the Narragansett routes, so here we go.

Onwards!

So, I boarded at URI and went to Salt Pond. Not a crazy route. And, it happens this mirrored the 69 as well. So, we went down Rte. 108 through Wakefield and Peace Dale, just like the 69. There’s not really much to it since I’ve done all the routes, so I’ll talk about the zone itself. There’s four scheduled stops at Memorial Union (URI), Salt Pond, the Wakefield Mall, and the Oliver Stedman Government Complex (which houses the county courthouse, the DMV branch, upon other things). It also stops at …pretty much every beach, which the various fixed routes also do. Oh, it has weekend service!

*yawns*
Peace Dale yet again
I HATE these flags!
The Wakefield Mall
Salt Pond Plaza

The good: It lets you get to South County Commons and the Stedman Complex, I guess.

The bad: The area is literally covered pretty well in fixed routes, enough so to where one could reasonably make the argument that the Flex is, dare I say, unnecessary. I mean sure, South County Commons and the Stedman Complex aren’t served by fixed routes, but like, nothing says they can’t get a fixed route.

Nearby points of interest: Pretty much all of Narragansett and most of SK.

Overall, why? Just, why? I mean, at least it isn’t the 49.

Rating: 3/10

301 (Westerly/Richmond Rural Ride)

Alrighty! Now that I’ve finished up the main RIPTA saga, I still have a few bits of bonus content (mainly Flexes) to take care of before sealing the coffin for good. This is one of them. Meet the 301.

The routing

Alrighty, so the route runs between Westerly Station and the Stop & Shop in Richmond. Stops are as follows:

  • Westerly Station
  • Main/Broad (outbound) or High/Broad (inbound)
  • Westerly Senior Center
  • Aldi’s @ Franklin St.
  • Walmart @ Dunn’s Corners
  • Village and Main, Bradford
  • Main and Champlin, Ashaway
  • Saugatucket Springs, Hopkinton
  • Wood River Health
  • Main and Spring, Hope Valley
  • Stop & Shop, Hope Valley

The schedule is clear-cut, with a round trip between Westerly Station and Stop & Shop, and a “most of the way” one-way trip, between Westerly Station and Wood River Health. I’m pretty sure that, if Miles’ experience on this is to go by, most ridership comes from Wood River Health. And, if that’s the case, it’s probably in their best interest to take it off RIPTA’s hands. I mean, for crying out loud, it’s Friday-only AND doesn’t even accept Wave, just $2 cash. Amusingly, it’s numbered at the stop sign at Westerly Station.

The schedule

The good: It’s a lifeline for those who use it! Hell, the rural nature of the route means it’s really the only lifeline for those at Wood River Health.

The bad: There’s no real reason for this to even be a RIPTA thing! Like, 1 and a half round trips?! I’m sure if it were a normal fixed route, ridership might be a little better, but would it? I get rural public transit is a difficult beast but even then. Just, please, Wood River Health, just take this thing off RIPTA’s hands. Furthermore, it doesn’t even accept Wave! Also, $4 for Flexing the route? Huh, that’s an odd one. Yeah, apparently you can deviate up to half a mile from any scheduled stops. I’d argue the routing for this would be better for a URI-Westerly connector route, which would at least have an added bonus of being a lifeline for those at Wood River Health.

Nearby points of interest: The two park & rides along the 95X, I guess. There’s Hope Valley, Hopkinton, and Westerly – albeit with a real chance of no way back. One could also connect to the 204 Flex, the 95X, or an Amtrak to get out of this sealed-away corner of the state.

Rating: 2/10, though 10/10 for the idea

59X (North Smithfield/Lincoln Mall)

Oh boy, the final route! Is it really worth the hype of being a grand finale? Well, let’s find out. I can safely say that the weather is befitting, as it may as well be monsoon season.

Here it comes, and look at that torrential downpour!

So, the route does the Downcity Loop, with its last stop being Kennedy Plaza. From here, it immediately goes express onto I-95 northbound, where we hit quite a bit of traffic. Fortunately, most of it is from merging, and we then took the next exit onto Rte. 146 northbound. From here, it quickly became woodlands. But hey, at least we got to skip the 54’s Twin River, CCRI, and North Central deviations! Unfortunately….

Dear God…
The Northeast Corridor from I-95
I-95 from the Rte. 146 flyover ramp
Woodlands!
No deviation today!
What a weird-looking exit (Sherman Ave.)

We still had to deviate into the Lincoln Mall. And not the front. As we went into the mall, two announcements played. “Approaching: Lincoln Mall. Approaching: The park & ride at…Lincoln Mall.” Yeah, apparently the CinemaWorld parking lot, which neither the 54 or 75 serve, is a park & ride lot. From here, we went back on the freeway.

Watry!
This is a park & ride?!
Not today!
Onwards!
Into the home stretch

At this point, only two others remained on the bus. However, once we got to Park Square (after skipping Walmart), they got off and walked to Stop & Shop. Man, RIPTA and/or RIDOT oughta put a park & ride lot around here. Nevertheless, we pressed on up Smithfield Road instead of taking a right down Providence Street, going up through Union Village. Apparently there was another park & ride along this stretch, with the only stop being named “Great at 601 Great”, with the announcement saying “The park & ride at Branch Village.” No lots were to be seen, though, unless I missed it. We were near the end though, as all the rural housing and businesses passed right by. We crossed Route 146 again, now called the North Smithfield Expressway, and reached the final light. There it was, Brigido’s Market, or rather, “The park & ride at Slatersville Plaza”. It was here that I got off, with no way back aside from a $13 Uber. I’ve finally 100%’d RIPTA.

Some businesses
Not today, bud!
Look Taser, a Dollar Tree! (from the 282 Flex and the 54)
A church in Union Village
Someone’s yard
A store of some kind
The North Smithfield Expressway, again!
Some side streets
The northernmost point on RIPTA
See ya!

The good: It’s a direct link between Slatersville, Branch, and Union Villages to Providence and Lincoln! For those using it as a park & ride (as intended), it’s also quite accessible.

The bad: If you don’t have a car or an Uber ready, and you need to get somewhere only accessible by this route, good luck. Be ready for a lot of walking. On a more serious note, what’s with the unsigned bus stop in the back side of the Lincoln Mall? Hell, even Slatersville is signed! And, where’s the “park & ride” in Branch Village? And, there should be one at Park Square, given a few people got off.

Nearby points of interest: I mean, there’s Slatersville (with no way back) and the Lincoln Mall, along with North Smithfield and Woonsocket. There’s also downtown Providence!

Overall, this route’s an important link. It’s a direct express connection between the middle of nowhere in northern RI and downtown Providence. Ridership puts it as the 2nd least used express, at 59 people daily, which today probably still holds true, as my ride had 4 others. As for giving this express a local-running counterpart up north? I’d add it as part of a fixed route version of the 282 Flex.

Rating: 4/10


…wow. I’ve finally done it. I’ve ridden every fixed RIPTA route (for now, anyways). I’ve actually done it. Now, I’d like to give some thanks, namely to Wintry, for tagging along for a couple of these posts and giving insight into various routes (e.g. the 13 going to Providence and being a hot mess historically), Taser for coming along for several of these routes, the folks on the Miles in Transit Discord (as well as anyone reading, who ISN’T from there), the operators who make the system chug along. Also, shoutout to that one Asian guy from the Miles in Transit server that Wintry and I encountered as we were doing the 16 (his username slips past my mind), and another shoutout to “what is life” from the Miles in Transit Discord for essentially sending me down this rabbit hole with the challenge of doing the 10x. But, most importantly, I’d like to thank you, the person reading this right now, for reading my content (Whether or not you enjoy, is a different story). From here, I guess I’m done with RIPTA for now, until any new fixed routes come to be (or if any change considerably enough), and when the Pawtucket train station opens up. As for future plans, I’ll probably attempt to tackle another nearby RTA next. In the interim, I’ll also be slowly hacking away at the various T stations and routes as I ride them, though admittedly I’m a bit hesitant to do the bus system knowing the redesign exists and is likely going into effect at some point in the slightly far future.

With all that, thank you, everyone.

My ride home

Huh, what’s this? Huh, apparently someone suggested I do the Silver Line’s BRT stations on my next day off. Whelp, stay tuned for Silver Line Way, folks!

66X (Beach Bus: to Central Falls)

Alrighty, the second of three Beach Bus routes! This one ended up being ridden with my phone being almost dead, so I’ll have to reuse pictures for this post. Not the best way to go, but whatever. Alrighty, so the route is literally the same as the Woonsocket Beach Bus, but instead it’s supposed to skip Kennedy Plaza. It also gets off 95 in Pawtucket. It deviates off I-95 at exit 28, where it then goes to the Transit Center. From there, it follows the 75. That’s it. That’s literally the whole route.

From the Woonsocket post, a picture of a bus laying over in Galilee
From the 80, not the same street but the interstate from above
Money laundering front near the end of the route (from the 72‘s post)

The good: Direct link to Galilee from Central Falls and Pawtucket!

The bad: …it’s a bit long.

Nearby points of interest: Pawtucket, Central Falls, and the beaches of South County. Not much else.

Overall, I’ve seen better. However, this is probably the best you’ll get with a South County/Pawtucket express, albeit with a long run time. At least it’s easier to get out of Pawtucket than it is to leave Woonsocket.

Rating: 5/10

91 (Newport Ferry Shuttle)

Now, I know, this officially has no number. However, historically, it was given the number “91” and, as such, I’m going off that. I’ll probably have to update it if an actual route 91 becomes a thing.

Onwards!

Well, for one, the driver was clearly jamming out to B101 on the in-vehicle radio. Would I blame him? Not really. So, going from Kennedy Plaza to the ferry terminal on India Street is the goal. From here, the driver basically floored it to the Convention Center and- oh no, not the jiggling.

Oh no.

The 2015 model Flex vans didn’t even have this issue, or any Flex van I’ve ridden, so it’s probably just this one model. Still, it was annoying. And, holy crap, it’s got actual ridership. A party of 5 got on the bus to catch the ferry. And, they’d be here the entire time with noone else getting on. From here, we hightailed it down Empire Street and Chestnut Street, and turning left onto Point Street

Ah yes, cars
A truck in the city
Looking down Weybosset Street
Looks old
Ooh
Thank God we’re not on that bus!

Crossing the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, a quick right down South Water Street and to India Street brings us to the route’s end, at the Seastreak ferry terminal.

The city from afar
Construction!
The bus – it’s essentially a special-wrapped modified Flex van

The good: It’s a free shuttle (that is, free @ point of use) linking downtown to the relatively isolated ferry terminal! It’s also quite comfy, which seems to be a trend with the RIPTA minibuses (like with Flex, and I presume RIde). I like these buses, I really do. And, given the current economy, it’s a great deal for those looking to leave the car behind to go to Newport. It also times well with the ferries – scheduled to arrive at the terminal 15 minutes before departure!

The bad: Even though my trip’s an outlier, not a lot of people use it. Plus, I feel like more runs could be useful, with one arriving 20 and 10 before a scheduled departure? However, there’s also free parking at the terminal which doesn’t help this shuttle’s ridership. Also, the jiggly wheelchair lift. I hate it.

Nearby points of interest: Downtown and the ferry terminal, really.

Overall, it’s not bad. I like this. I just hope more people uses it over the summer, especially given the current situation with fuel prices. If you’re ever downtown and want to ditch the car, I’d recommend this as an option for getting to Newport.

Rating: 7/10

Holy ’09 Gilligs, Batman!

61X (Tiverton/East Bay Express)

Say, you know how most express routes generally run mostly on freeways? So, what if you took that, and threw it all out? Well, meet the 61X

WARNING: copious amounts of caps ahead. Read with caution.

Oh god, the headsign is in all caps. That’s always a good sign of things.

So the route, of course, begins with the Downcity Loop and Kennedy Plaza. From here it go- wait, what?! Why are we going back into Kennedy Plaza?! Oh for God’s sake…we’re going into the East Side then, I guess. So, instead of going straight onto I-95 like any sensible express, we go into the dark depths of Providence’s East Side!

Why are we going back into Kennedy Plaza?!
Into the depths of Hell, I guess.
Weird place to be on an express bus in.

So, we popped out of the East Side tunnel and went down Waterman Street and across the Henderson Bridge like any East Side route. But, we stayed on the East Side expressway to the second exit! Oooooo! From here, we take a right and bisect the bowtie junction of East Providence. We then go left, and left again and HOLY CRAP WE’RE EXPRESS! FINALLY! We then continue expressing down the East Shore Expressway and right into our first park & ride: White Church, Barrington.

More East Side stuff, I think
Scenic!
Not today!
This is what happens when the good kind of NIMBY has their way.
East Providence!
Under the bowtie!
I-195!
A dress shop!
Finally, express!!!
Down RI-114!
An intersection
Empty freeway
Scenic!
Near White Church
The church
The associated park & ride lot!

The route then largely follows the 60 through Barrington and Warren. However, past Police Cove Park, the route goes left down Franklin Street and towards another park & ride lot, not served (but within walking distance) by the 60. Further up the street, and a right turn later, we were on Metacom Avenue.

Beautiful
More water?!
Some stuff in Warren
Another park & ride!
Metacom Avenue!

From here, it was largely a straight shot down Metacom Avenue, passing by bogstandard houses and businesses. Sadly, none of the historical town center stuff that the 60 gets. Not that it matters. Also, why isn’t there a non-express Metacom route?! I mean, I’m sure the 60 used to come down here, but like, why isn’t there an abridged version of said route? I’ll get into details later. After a long ride down Metacom, we finally reach Roger Williams University …with an announcement for Tower Hill Road and Phillips Street? Wait, are we in Wickford now?! The driver then asked me if I was going all the way to Tiverton. I said no, since I needed a way back without the risk of being stranded. And, it was at the Boyd’s Lane park & ride that the trip ends. However, I have been to Fish Road before, on the 24L. That’ll be the last pic among the ones below.

yawn.
Bus shelter largely unused throughout the day.
Oh my, more houses!
Oh my, an empty car lot!
A field.
A shopping center. There was a Stop&Shop on the other side, if I remember right.
A fire station
Dunkin’!
More of the same
An apartment complex
RWU!
See ya!
Woah.
End of the line (for me)
The true end of the line

The good: It’s a sorta-express link to Providence via the East Bay and Tiverton! There’s also an early morning and early afternoon reverse trip (outbound am, inbound pm) that serves TPI Composites in Swansea, MA. Speaking of which…

The bad: Why are the reverse runs more express than the normal ones? And no, I’m not doing a part 2 for those runs. Furthermore, why does this route, not the 60, go through the East Side and East Providence?! Just, why?! And plus, stop X is literally where it is for a reason – SO ROUTES CAN JUST FREAKIN’ PULL OUT STRAIGHT ONTO I-95 INSTEAD OF BANGING A U-TURN TO GO INTO THE DARK FREAKIN’ DEPTHS OF THE EAST SIDE! At this point, just have a Metacom-centered route that connects at the Boyd’s Lane park & ride, and at the Shaw’s in Riverside at the 33’s terminus. Shoot, forgot I had bold/italics on for all that. Oh well. “Oh but they did it to consolidate the 60” you might say. WELL WHY DIDN’T THEY MAKE THE 60 LESS EXPRESS THAN THE 61X?! THAT’D BE LIKE IF THE 95X RAN LOCAL ALL THE WAY DOWN THROUGH CHARLESTOWN AND WAKEFIELD INSTEAD OF DOWN I-95 CLEANLY.

Nearby points of interest: Tiverton….with little in the way of getting out, save for the 24L (if you can time it right). There’s also the stuff along Metacom, which should be served regularly instead of weekday peak-only.

Overall, what were they thinking with this?! Like, it’s hardly express, and the route it’s supposed to be more express than, is more express than this! What the hell, RIPTA?! Here’s how I’d fix this. I’d make a route that terminates at the Boyd’s Lane park & ride lot, go up through Metacom Avenue, deviate into Stop & Shop along with Job Lot, and go down Market Street (saving Franklin Street for the 61X only). Then, go up RI-114 to the Shaw’s plaza and either end there, or keep going up and go down Willett Avenue (U-turn required) and end at the Shaw’s there, providing a connection to the 33 (Riverside)33. Call it, I dunno, the 36 or something. At least it still serves an important purpose, being to link Tiverton and Little Compton residents to Providence via transit, given that area is largely forgotten about in state politics.

Rating: 2.5/10

14 (West Bay – part 2)

Alrighty, just like the 60, there’s also an alternate path that’s significant enough on the 14 to warrant a part 2. This time, we start at the park & ride at RI-138.

Rte. 138 – no express today!

The route splits off by not going express, but rather going straight down Boston Neck Road further. It’s still rural with some houses here and there, and unlike the 64, we got to skip the URI Bay Campus deviation. We kept running express-like, heading down Boston Neck Road and the various buildings along the road. We crossed the water and OH CRAP THERE’S A BEACH?!

Rural housing
Ocean!
Weird spot for a shelter, but okay.
Cumby’s!
A church!
Bonnet Shores is down here. Rich people too, probably
An empty parking lot
This may as well be a McMansion
More ocean!
A real estate office
Nearing Narragansett!
Narragansett Beach!
There’s “The Towers”, apparently the remnants of an old casino
Some housing in the area
They apparently want a library here
Idk what this is. Housing, probably
Another side street
The end of the route (or rather, just before it)

Yes, we entered Narragansett Pier. And, in fact, it’s among the most popular beaches in RI. However, we didn’t go through the coastal part, and instead we took a couple of turns through side streets. From here, we turned onto South Pier Road, which then emptied out at the route’s terminus at Salt Pond Plaza, in Narragansett.

The good: Aside from the stuff specific to the shared section, it’s a direct link between the park & ride and points north to Narragansett. It also serves one of the most popular beaches in the state!

The bad: Two hours between buses on weekdays?! With only a handful of trips on the weekends?! Yikes. On Sundays, these runs don’t even run at all! It’s also the longest regular-running route in terms of runtime.

Nearby points of interest: Narragansett Pier is the big one!

Overall, it’s nice that a link to Providence exists that doesn’t involve URI. Hell, there’s one trip each way that comes here that involves a deviation into the Greenwood Church up in Warwick. Or maybe that was a Newport trip, I don’t remember. If anything, I’d turn this one into a Wickford-Narragansett route, and re-route the Newport runs to go through Wickford Junction. It’s clear that one’s the more frequent route, while Wickford to Narragansett could be its own route.

Rating change from original (Newport branch): 4/10 (-1 point)

63 (Broadway/Middletown)

Oh no. No. Not the 63. As Miles put it in his post, it’s the “drunk snake” of Newport. And, after riding it myself, I have to agree. One could also call it “whiplash central” with how many times it bends.

Clearly this is at a park.
Houses somewhere nearby.

I honestly don’t even know where half these pictures were, because the route is so disorienting. So, I guess it’s time for me to get started with describing it. Outbound, it starts at either Stop & Shop on West Main, or at Oxbow Apartments a block up the street. Now, not all trips serve Oxbow, and barely any serve it on the weekends. And even then, not every trip deviates INTO Stop & Shop. Yikes.

Still don’t know where this was .-.

We’d eventually turn onto Coddington Highway. However, outbound trips, for whatever weird reason, instead turn right and left onto EAST Main. What?! Then it’d go down Valley Road onto West Main. Like, what were they on?! Was a simple left onto West Main not good enough?! Well, whatever, going down Coddington Highway, we …deviated into the Newport garage?! Oh come on! Oh, it’s a shift change. Understandable.

I think this was nearby.
One of the streets.
Home Depot and, Look Taser, a Dollar Tree!
Some apartments
The library, probably
Onto Coddington Highway!
Looks top seeeeeeecret
#s 934, 1906, and 1010!

We then pulled out with a new driver and the real fun was about to begin. We passed the Newport CCRI campus like normal, then deviated into Town Centre. It was here the fun began. We went in a complete circle, 3/4 around a roundabout onto Admiral Kalbfus Road, then we went in what was essentially a U-shape to serve the road behind the Newport CCRI campus. Yeah. This route can’t make up its mind, other than wanting to give whiplash.

Grass.
Same Tree as from the 64!
Unionize!
No express for you today!
An apartment complex!
Behind CCRI?!
The same park from earlier
What’s “NUWC”? Is that some curse word?
Broadway housing!
They named a street after Bill and Hillary?!

We were then on Broadway, and it was a straight shot to the Gateway Center, hopefully. And, indeed it was. It was a straight shot to the Gateway, thank God, and the painful route has ended.

No LGBTphobia allowed in the comments!
ADA parking?
Near the Gateway Center

The good: It serves quite a bit, along with a number of apartment buildings. Plus it’s the most-used exclusively-Aquidneck route with 720 daily riders as of 2019.

The bad: …why is it so damn bendy?! WHY?! Never mind that, why does not every trip deviate into Stop & Shop, and not every trip go to Oxbow?! Furthermore, why is East Main only served outbound? And, the biggest headscratcher is this: Why is there a Saturday-only, outbound-only deviation to West House?! Who’s gonna use that?!?! And why is the route so freakin’ bendy?! Also, Sunday service kinda sucks, with only six(!!!!) total round trips, spread out every 85 minutes!

Nearby points of interest: CCRI, mainly.

Overall, it is, as Miles said in his take of this route, a drunk snake. More like freakin’ Whiplash Central! I hope it gets straightened out (quite literally) in the future.

Rating: 3/10