64 (URI/Newport)

So, for linking the West Bay to Newport, there’s not many frequent options. There’s the Newport branch of the 14, which I’ve taken a look at already, and that only comes by every 2 hours on weekdays, but every hour (mostly) on weekends. But that’s between downtown Providence and Newport, via Jefferson Boulevard and US-1. What if you wanted to get to Newport from URI, though? Meet the 64.

Buses at the Newport Visitors Center

So the route leaves the Visitor’s Center and pulls into a side street. From here, we kept going up Third Street, until we took a right onto Admiral Kalbfus Road and went 3/4 of the way through a roundabout. From here, things got a bit crazy with deviations. If anything, I’d count this as a double deviation. So, we went the 3/4…..to serve Newport Towne Center at Stop & Shop and Walmart, and then went further up Coddington Highway to deviate into CCRI’s Newport campus. Then we went all the way down, 3/4 of the way around again, and then started an express (tolled!) section on RI-138. From here, we stayed in the right lane and got on the Newport Bridge and crossed into Jamestown. Unfortunately, due to the poor weather, the views weren’t as great as when I did my 14 Newport post. However, we largely went the same path, just in reverse this time. That included going by the toll plaza, past what looked like some McMansions, the downtown area of Jamestown, and back up North Road onto RI-138. From here, we were on the Jamestown bridge after one exit. The express was short-lived, as eventually we made another deviation – this time into the US-1A park & ride lot. Of course, unlike when I did the 14, noone got on here.

The state flower!
Look, a Dollar Tree!
CCRI’s Newport campus, the newest of the four campuses
The Newport Bridge
A flooded island near the Jamestown toll plaza
Wetlands in Jamestown
The Jamestown bridge!
A not so great shot of the US-1A park & ride

From here, it was a straight shot down Boston Neck Road, as we went through wilderness upon wilderness. We eventually reached a red light that we turned left at, to deviate into URI’s Bay Campus. Noone got on here either, so we went back around and went straight at Bridgetown Road. We eventually reached another park & ride lot, this time at the intersection of Bridgetown Road, US-1, and RI-138 at the Hannah Robinson Tower. Don’t ask me what’s up with the tower, though, as I don’t know.

URI Bay Campus
A lake by Bridgetown Road

From here, it was basically a straight shot to ….the train station??? Yeah, the route doesn’t terminate at URI but rather Kingston Station. It’s mostly woodlands from here until URI, with some houses and businesses mixed in along with other college-related stuff. Eventually we deviated into URI to serve the bus stop at Memorial Union, at which point the driver asked me and the other guy if we wanted to get off. I looked at the other guy and said “Nah, I’m heading to the train station.” and the other said “Yeah, me too.” Guess the driver usually has someone getting off at URI. We went down Lower College Road and took a right back onto Kingstown Road. From here, it was a straight shot to the train station, as it was the end of the route.

Some stuff near URI
The bus stop at URI Memorial Union
The route’s terminus at Kingston/URI Train Station

The good: It links Kingston Station with Newport via URI! It’s also scenic.

The bad: …except this thing never comes. It’s got lackluster scheduling (every 1hr15 on weekdays, and every 2 hours on Saturdays, and no Sunday service!) and an insane amount of deviations. Now, I can see the appeal of a one-seat ride to Walmart or Stop & Shop, but who wants to wait however long for the return trip to URI or Jamestown? And if it’s Walmart, why not just take the 66 to Wickford Junction and walk? Now, I get there’s the whole “what if you can’t walk?” argument though, and that’s understandable. But like, 1 hour and 15 one way is a bit much to wait for the next bus. If you’re trying to get to Newport from Jamestown for a connection to either the 60, 63, 67, or 68, just take the 14 instead as it’s more direct.

Nearby points of interest: Kingston/URI Train Station, as well as URI itself. There’s Jamestown, and the various deviations in Newport. Plus, the bus connections at the train station and URI, along with the ones in Newport.

Overall, it’s a bit of a doozy to ride, but it’s a necessary connection. My biggest gripe is the fact it never comes. Try, every hour and 15 minutes, with 2 hour service on Saturdays, and no service on Sundays. Do people just not travel on Sundays? The ridership figures reflect the poor service too. How about, 158 people average weekdays in 2019? Yikes. I’m sure if it ran more directly (and maybe express past the park & ride? Dunno how many people use that as an alternative to URI parking) it’d likely be higher. And, why does it need the deviation sensation in Newport?! Is it trying to be the 63?!
Rating: 4/10


Author: chelsea

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