Saturday, November 21, 2015

Service Change: RIPTA, Part 2 - 3 (Warwick Ave)

When my friend Michael and I arrived in Providence on the 35, we weren't really sure what to do. But Michael's always liked walking, and since I had just dragged him on a bus, we decided to take a stroll. And take a stroll we did...all the way down to Warwick! Indeed, after walking 7.5 miles from Providence, it was kind of a relief to catch the 3 back to the city.

Not the 3, but the same road.
The bus we rode on the 3 was different from the one on the 35, mainly in that the seats had a great pattern on them. I think the bus might've been more modern, but I can't be sure about that. I believe the bus also ran on clean energy, which is fantastic.

There's a picture of the bus exterior later on, in case any RIPTA riders out there can identify it.
We got on the bus on Warwick Ave, a wide road lined with businesses and auto shops, all with big parking lots. However, we soon turned onto Narragansett Parkway, which was much nicer. The street was narrower and went through a leafy residential neighborhood.

By the way, most of these pictures will be from the walk, since a lot of it followed the 3.
The street continued mostly straight for a while, then curved north near Passeonkquis Cove (good luck pronouncing that). We were running parallel with the Providence River, with a park on the side of the latter. On occasion, there would be some nice views across the water, as well. Eventually, it went back to houses, including a riverside residential development.

Some industrial vats loom on the other side of the river.
Looking across the marshes.
Eventually, we crossed the Pawtuxet River (entering Cranston), and came into the beautiful Pawtuxet Village. The street, now called Broad Street, became lined with small businesses, and there was a nice church further down the road. Aside from a few gas stations, this felt like the quintessential New England downtown, and it was great.

The leafy road from which we came.
Why, thank you!
Oh my gosh, this little river is beautiful!
Looking down Broad Street into the village.
The houses returned once we left Pawtuxet, but there was still the occasional business block. Eventually, though, we reached a major intersection, where there was quite a lot of retail. I'm not sure why this area developed so much, but I do know that it had a really impressive cathedral (which for some reason, I didn't get a picture of). We turned onto Norwood Ave here, which was lined with dense houses.

We then turned onto Narragansett Boulevard, which was mostly residential, with a few businesses. But when we entered Providence, the street became Allens Ave, and it got industrial. No, I mean industrial. As in "giant vats lining the road with freight train crossings" industrial.

Looking across a parking lot...or maybe just asphalt. The pictures were taken from the bus from here on out.
An interesting quirk about this area happened just after an interchange with I-95. A single train track actually merged into the middle of the road, with occasional spurs into industrial complexes. I assume the track isn't used anymore, but imagine a huge freight train just running down the middle of a busy street!

Going by...something.
Eventually, the railroad track ended abruptly and we passed under another highway interchange. We turned onto Blackstone Street, and then Eddy Street, going by the tall buildings of the Rhode Island Hospital complex. The road became Dyer Street, and we passed a lot of parking lots, abandoned buildings, and even some undeveloped plots of land.

Speaking of undeveloped land...
Eventually we reached the Providence River and merged into Memorial Boulevard. Now in downtown Providence, we were surrounded by tall buildings. Turning onto Westminster Street, we made a stop where everyone on the bus got off. The driver was laying over for a bit because we were early, so I asked if I could run out and get a quick picture of the vehicle. After getting back on, we made the final stretch to Kennedy Plaza.

Looking across the river.
Making the turn onto Westminster Street.
The bus on Westminster Street...
...and at Kennedy Plaza.

2 comments:

  1. To answer your question about the difference in busses, the 3 bus you rode is a year newer (2010 vs 2009) than the 35 is. Also the 3 bus is a diesel electric hybrid. RIPTA operates approximately 75 of them.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, I didn't realize the buses were so recent! Thanks for the information.

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