Alright, new route #2! So while the 23 serves Centre of New England, the 16 …serves New England Tech, Quonset, and a stroad. Okay then.
So, the bus was running late – however, though, this wasn’t due to the route inherently. What happened was that the operator was given half-baked directions for the route and as such ended up making a few wrong turns. I didn’t make a big deal about it and Wintry just said that everyone was learning the route, with it being the first day and all. So, just like the 23, it leaves CCRI via the back exit and down College Hill Road. However, unlike the 23, it stays on Bald Hill Road. And, it’s a straight shot.
So, going up Bald Hill (st)Road, you have businesses and large parking lots. Yikes. However, you do have places like Target, which have their own bus stops (albeit not as deviations – but curbside). With this in mind, the 16 is a little more bearable if you’re getting off anywhere along Bald Hill. Wait, what’s this, deviation sensation?! Yes! We are deviating up Universal Boulevard and into Market Basket!!!
From here, we came back the way we went, however based on the map of the route, the driver made a mistake here. Instead of going up to Centerville and then down towards the courthouse, the driver just went down Ginsu Way to the courthouse, then went in a circle at Cowessett Corners. Nevertheless, we deviated into both the courthouse and Cowessett Corners, and then continuing down RI-2, now Quaker Lane.
From here, it was largely stroads still, with the occasional plaza or car dealership. We did pass MetLife, and eventually I-95. Wait, a fourth deviation?! Oh boy. Now, it’s NEIT. New England Tech, to my awareness, hasn’t had any bus service until today (outside of Flex), so I’m sure it’s something the students would find worthwhile come fall.
From here, we went back up RI-2 and right onto Division Street. From here, it was a straight shot over RI-4 and to Main Street, going down First Avenue. It was here that we took a right and followed the 14’s routing to where this route ended, at Gate Road. From here, we waited then took the return trip up to CCRI, and was then greeted by someone else from the Miles in Transit Discord, who happened to be in town for riding the 16.
The good: It serves a bunch of shopping centers! It also serves NEIT, and more regular service to East Greenwich and Quonset! Also, there’s a deviation into Market Basket.
The bad: My biggest concern comes down to on-time performance during the holiday shopping season. Bald Hill Road isn’t known for being free-flowing. Also, and this applies to the 23 too, what’s with the lack of announcements for various stops?
Nearby points of interest: Target and Market Basket! There’s also Best Buy, the courthouse, Cowessett Corners and Stop & Shop, as well as NEIT and the plaza there. There’s also the areas shared with the 14, including Gate Road in Quonset.
Overall, it’s a good route on paper. It’s deviation-heavy, sure, and could turn into deviation hell easily, but it’s not a bad idea or a route. Plus, it makes it more affordable to go shopping on Bald Hill with transit finally being up there.