Alrighty, another Providence-Pawtucket route! If the 1 bisects the densest parts of the state and continues on to South Attleboro, and the R Line is designed specifically to link Broad St. and Pawtucket, what’s the 72 for? Well, let’s see.
The route begins at the Slater Mill side of the Pawtucket Visitors Center. From here, the route heads up Roosevelt Avenue and Exchange Street, before taking a right down Dexter Street. From here, we crossed the Northeast Corridor and went into the densest square mile in the state: Central Falls.
We took a left at West Hunt Street at a church, then another down Lonsdale Avenue. Whelp, that was short lived, as we were back in Pawtucket. But this time, instead of going all the way down Lonsdale, we took a right down Weeden Street. It was lined with mostly housing, with a railroad crossing. I don’t know if it’s active, but I’m just going to assume it is for safety’s sake. Moving right along, the road became Power Road at Smithfield Ave. The road kept going, and was largely residential. It also intersected with Mineral Spring Avenue, and eventually we met up with Smithfield Ave. again.
At this point, we were in Providence and it was Silver Spring Street. There were many businesses down here, among which were a Walmart, Providence Auto Body, and even the local UFCW chapter’s headquarters. Neat. Soon enough, after passing Branch Avenue and Charles Street, we merged onto Charles Street. From here, it was largely a straight shot, but there was one last deviation: Providence Station. Soon enough, we made it to Kennedy Plaza. The route DOES go on to RI Hospital, but I’m not going that far with the DTC routes.
The good: It serves Central Falls! One of the densest areas in the state, with regular bus service. However…
The bad: I think it might do better with a frequency buff during the morning and evening peaks. Usually in those hours, I oftentimes see the bus packed, even in current times. It also feels like Central Falls is a deviation rather than an integral part of the route. (UPDATE: turns out I overlooked the frequency boost entirely. Turns out I overlooked it, partly due to the coloring being the same as a normal route .-.)
Nearby points of interest: Walmart! Also, Central Falls and Pawtucket! And the UFCW headquarters is conveniently here if anyone wants to attempt unionizing Walmart.
Overall, it’s not a bad route. Definitely among the better, but I feel like Central Falls would be better served by a mostly local Providence-Woonsocket route (via Cumberland) and a Pawtucket-Woonsocket route (also via Cumberland). But it’s still not bad.
Original rating: 7.5/10