|This is a hub?|
|It took so many tries to get a decent picture of the bus laying over in the parking lot.|
|The bus boarding.|
The road became East Street for a bit as we passed a prison, and then it turned into the route's namesake, Pontiac Ave. The surroundings got industrial from there, with big warehouses set off from the road, including a Pepsi bottling plant! We went under the Lincoln Ave Freeway, and then, once more, there were lots of businesses with parking lots out front. Gosh, maybe it's a good thing it was dark...
Eventually, it became a mix of houses and businesses. We went by an apartment complex and a school, then the street was mostly lined with sizeable houses. However, we eventually reached Rolfe Square, where there was retail on both sides of the street. It would've felt like a nice downtown, except that a lot of the buildings were unoccupied.
We came close to Cranston city hall and Cranston High School East, but they were on a side street. Pontiac Ave, meanwhile, became all houses again, with a brief break as the road went over the Huntington Expressway. Soon after that, we entered Providence and merged onto Reservoir Ave, which was lined with businesses and parking lots for just a little bit. It soon became dense houses, though.
There was a short industrial section near the Commuter Rail tracks, then we merged onto Elmwood Ave, joining the 20. After a cemetery, the street became lined with a mix of businesses and houses. We went by a second cemetery, then it became Broad Street, with the surroundings becoming entirely retail. Going by the Providence Central High School, we crossed over I-95 and entered downtown Providence.
|This is the ONE time I tried to take a picture out of the bus. As you can see, it didn't go so well.|
|Okay, this one isn't bad, actually.|
Ridership: Back when RIPTA did its reports in 2012, this bus had great ridership, with 1,923 passengers per weekday, 944 per Saturday, and 923 per Sunday. It was the 11th highest weekday route, while weekend service was strong (Saturday and Sunday ridership was about the same, interestingly). Since the report was conducted, I'd imagine ridership is still strong, since the route's headways are about the same as they were then (with more frequent service on Saturdays now).
Pros: Of the three main Cranston routes (the 21 and the 30 being the others), this one is the furthest east, and it serves quite a lot of the city (not to mention Providence). It also runs...kind of frequently? Well, it does on weekdays, at least, with consistent half-hour service.
Cons: Okay, every 45 minutes at night makes sense, since my night ride only had about 15 people on it. However, the 22 has those exact same headways on weekends, which could definitely be improved - I think every half hour service on both Saturdays and Sundays would be great. This is further proven by a little tidbit at the end of RIPTA's detailed analysis of the route: "This route had a 20 minute frequency and was a top five route, we think it could be again." Ignoring the comma splice, I completely agree with that statement! I assume it's talking about weekdays, but increasing weekend service is also very important.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Well, certainly not the Warwick Mall! Actually, there didn't seem to be many noteworthy places along the 22, but I guess Rolfe Square in Cranston is the closest you'll get to one.
Final Verdict: 6/10
I mean, it has to be said that this route has pretty standard headways for the RIPTA. Plus, the route itself is great, making a direct path through Cranston and Providence. However, I really think that it has the ridership to run more frequently. The note in RIPTA's analysis about every 20 minute service on weekdays is a start, but based on the urban nature of this corridor, every half hour on weekends would be great! As it is currently, it's just an average route that gets the job done fine.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates