Alright, the 34: Providence and East Providence via Evergreen Apartments to…..Seekonk Square???? Wait, this route goes outside Rhode Island? Huh, interesting. What’s in store?
The route begins heading towards the East Side and through the tunnel. From here, it goes down Waterman Street and expresses down the Henderson Expressway. Now, what IS the Henderson Expressway? Well, it’s a sorta-freeway. Originally it was meant to connect I-195 and East Providence and was meant to be for US-44. However, due to NIMBYs, that didn’t come to be, hence the seemingly out of place bridge in the East Side. From here, the route turns down Massasoit Avenue and Valley Street, eventually ending at Warren Avenue, where exit 1D dumps people off.
Pressing onwards, the route keeps going down Warren Avenue and makes a left turn down Pawtucket Avenue. From here, it started to look like it was raining. But, no worries. Going straight, we eventually deviated into the Wampanoag Mall, which serves as a transfer point between the 33, 34, and 78. In essence, it’s the East Providence “hub”, if you will.
From here, we turned back onto Taunton Avenue and kept going straight. Wait, what’s that? “Approaching: The park & ride at…Taunton Avenue” Huh, that’s an interesting spot for a park and ride, and no expresses serve it. Noone got on or off here, so moving right on.
We took a right down Commercial Way, passing by a bunch of businesses. From here, we took a left onto Waterman Avenue and then another left down Warren Avenue. We then deviated into the route’s namesake into Evergreen Apartments and, oh look, it’s WPRI’s studios! Interesting. We then took another left down Catamore Boulevard and a right onto Highland Avenue. Interestingly, everyone got off right at the state line, like there’s a magic force field.
Moving right on, we went down Highland Avenue into Massachusetts, where traffic was noticably worse, and- oh, we’re already there. Yeah, we pulled into Seekonk Square, and the route just ended with the end in the middle of the parking lot. Not very walkable.
The good: It’s a direct link between a major shopping center (albeit not in RI), an apartment complex, and downtown! Well, kinda. It goes via Massasoit Avenue and the East Side, which isn’t as direct as, say, I-195 straight onto Warren Avenue. But, whatever.
The bad: It’s a little low in terms of straightforwardness. The deviations feel kinda awkward. Wampanoag Plaza and Evergreen Apartments feel a bit out of the way, but they both have to be served somehow. Also, and I know this isn’t RIPTA’s fault, why isn’t there any GATRA connections in Seekonk?! Isn’t this literally their home turf?!
Nearby points of interest: WPRI’s studios! Also, Seekonk! …with no GATRA connections. There’s also East Providence and the East Side.
Overall, it’s definitely the lesser of the two Seekonk routes. Probably, because the deviations feel “out of the way” more than anything else. Plus, I just found it weird how the entire bus just emptied at the state line. And, c’mon GATRA, no service at Seekonk Square?! It’s certainly used though, with 539 daily passengers as of 2019.
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