|This isn't the 1, but we thought it was the 1, so...yeah.|
|Ah! There's the 1!|
|A residential side street.|
|What a great river view...|
|A busy intersection.|
|What a strange stop!|
|Hello, other 1!|
|Here, have a side street instead.|
|This all looks rather industrial.|
|Oh...well this certainly isn't downtown...|
|A street near Kennedy Plaza.|
|I love this park!|
|The intersection with Hope Street.|
|A side street from a little further down Thayer.|
|These are some great-looking houses!|
|Henry Bear's Park exists outside of Massachusetts? Why was I not aware of this?|
|A gas station with some houses behind it.|
|Going over I-95.|
|Although it's the same bus, this was from earlier in the day when Nathan and I got off the 11 at Broadway and Benefit. Review of that route coming soon!|
|What a strange median...thing.|
|That woman tried to get on, but the driver said she would have to wait at the inbound stop on the other side of a parking lot.|
Ridership: Alright, this is tricky. Since the 1 used to be three separate routes, and since the RIPTA's ridership information is relatively outdated, I had to get the data from the three former routes of the 1. Bear with me:
- The original 1 route (covering the portion south of Kennedy Plaza) got 1,900 passengers per weekday, 700 passengers per Saturday, and 382 per Sunday. Annoyingly, the 1 used to be completely different, with two branches and a route that covered a lot of what the 3 covers now. Still, one branch went onto Post Road (not all the way to the airport, though), and the data does show that the ridership drastically increases north of Broad City Line.
- The 42 served the section from Providence to Pawtucket along Hope Street. This was RIPTA's 8th highest ridership route, with 2,000 passengers per weekday, 852 per Saturday, and 465 per Sunday. It basically runs the same route as what the 1 does now.
- The 77 covered the part of the route from Pawtucket to South Attleboro, although the 77 didn't quite make it to the station - it terminated further east on Benefit. Regardless, the route got decent ridership for such a short distance, with 643 riders on weekdays, 337 on Saturdays, and 120 on Sundays.
So adding all those up, the 1 theoretically gets 4,543 riders per weekday, 1,889 riders per Saturday, and 967 riders per Sunday. However, with a combination of generally increased frequency and the fact that all the routes are now streamlined, that number might even be higher. I know my trip was busy, with almost 50 riders in total (from Stop and Shop to South Attleboro, at least). I would be very interested to see official ridership counts for the 1 now.
Pros: This route serves a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I mean, it seems like wherever you go on the eastern portion of the RIPTA, you will see a 1. It's insane. What's more, it runs quite frequently, on weekdays, at least - every 15 minutes on the shared portion, with every half hour service to the outer portions. That becomes every half hour on the shared portion at night, which is still really good, although all night service runs from T.F. Green Airport to Pawtucket, for some reason. The weekend schedule makes sense, at least along the shared section, with every 40 minute service.
Cons: However, this means that on weekends, the outer sections only get a bus every 80 minutes. Well, that simply won't do! Sure, I'll bet no one uses the route to get to T.F. Green (especially since the 20 is more frequent), but what about South Attleboro? The section on Benefit Street can get reasonably busy, and every 80 minutes seems very infrequent for that ridership. Also, what's the deal with running all the night service to T.F. Green? I can't imagine anyone riding down there at night! Service should run to South Attleboro instead, where there are many dense houses and people who could be using the route. Finally, I'm curious as to why the 1 does the hospital deviation. I understand that many people use it, but it might be better to deviate the 3 (which passes right by the hospital) instead, since it's a less busy route. That would ease crowds on the 1, plus it would give the 3 a bit more ridership.
Nearby and Noteworthy: This is the most frequent route from Providence to the East Side, which is most definitely a hopping neighborhood. That said, it's a nice, short walk if you'd rather get some fresh air. Honestly, the most noteworthy part of the 1 is its diversity. Hop on a bus at Pawtucket and ride it all the way down to T.F. Green and you will see the huge variety of neighborhoods the route passes through.
Final Verdict: 8/10
This is definitely a great route if you're using it along the shared section. But if you're trying to get out to one of the outer portions, particularly on a weekend, that's gonna be problematic. I've read the original proposal for the 1, which suggested running "long" and "short" trips (with "short" trips operating between Shaw's and Pawtucket). I can see why they didn't implement this, since the long trips would just end up being late. However, I don't see why they can't run the full route on weekends. They could even cut service to T.F. Green, since it doesn't get too many people - on Saturdays and Sundays, how about running the 1 from Shaw's (or Broad City Line) up to South Attleboro? That would give better service to a part of the route that needs it. Still, even with its current schedule, the 1 does its job pretty well and serves a huge part of the Providence metropolitan area.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates