Alrighty, the third of the four “long-haul” routes. Originally, I was planning to do the 73 but, um, yeah. Be prepared for a rant on that one.
The route starts at Providence Station, so I boarded there. We then went on to Kennedy Plaza’s stop X, and after picking up someone we immediately went express down the interstate. It was long, but we had stuff. And with that…
LET’S GET READY FOR A DEVIATION SENSATION!!!!!!!
Oh boy, it’s been a while since I did one of these! So, deviation #1! We took exit 13 off the interstate and booked it down the Airport Connector. From here, we pulled into the airport’s busway, picked up noone, dropped noone off, then turned onto Post Road. Someone actually got off here, but we then went back the way we came. Then, deviation #2! CCRI. We got off the next exit, went up the hill, picked someone up at CCRI, then turned back onto the interstate. And that, was today’s edition of Deviation Sensation!
From here, we went express down the interstate and RI-4 (at exit 9). Soon enough though, we got off at exit 5, deviating into a park and ride lot. Nobody got on or off, so we kept goin- wait, what? Why did we pull over? WHY IS THE DRIVER GOING INTO CUMBERLAND FARMS?! OH FOR GOD’S SAKE! I HAVE TO GET TO KINGSTON STATION AND YOU DECIDE THAT YOU CAN JUST SIMPLY TAKE A BREAK MID-RUN?! I probably sound like a Karen complaining about that, but, like, c’mon man. Shoulda done that during the layover at Providence Station. Anyways, moving on, we went down the road after the driver got back and we deviated into Wickford Junction, for connections to the 65X and the Commuter Rail, then turned back and went down RI-2. From here, it was largely a straight shot through the middle of nowhere, until we turned left onto Kingstown Road. We then deviated into Kingston Station (Kingston/URI on this site, to differentiate it from Kingston, MA), and I got off. The route keeps going, however, down to URI’s Memorial Union.
The good: The route serves a lot! You have CCRI, T.F. Green, downtown Providence, along with Wickford and South County all the way to URI! Hell, there’s several major regional transit centers too, being Kennedy Plaza and Providence Station, with their Amtrak, MBTA, and bus connections, CCRI with the various local bus connections, T.F. Green and Wickford Junction with their MBTA connections (and air flights in Green’s case), Kingston Station with Amtrak, and URI with its bus connections. It’s also frequent, being every half-hour on weekdays, and hourly at nights and weekends. It also gets decent ridership, even though the 770 daily riders as of 2019 might be slightly inaccurate.
The bad: It’s kinda long! If you gotta take a bathroom break and you boarded at Providence or T.F. Green, and your destination is Kingston Station or URI, good luck! It also tends to be early, so show up several minutes before the scheduled departure times for your bus.
Nearby points of interest: Providence, CCRI, T.F. Green up north, and Wickford Junction and Kingston to the south.
Overall, it’s among the better RIPTA routes. Definitely a long one and can be hard to stomach in one go, but it’s still a good route. There’s really not much that can be changed to make it easier to stomach, as any Providence-URI route is inherently going to be long. However, maybe an express between Kennedy Plaza and URI via I-95 exit 3? Just a thought I had.