This one is sorta like the 76: it’s a short route that covers the eastern part of Pawtucket. I liked the 76 because it served some dense neighborhoods and attractions that people would go to on a daily basis. Does the 80 do the same? Let’s find out.
|The back of the bus at Pawtucket.|
We almost immediately turned onto Main Street, crossing the Seekonk River and going by a strange office building with a pyramid on it. After going over I-95, we turned onto the residential Summit Street, which had dense houses on either side. We reached the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, where we turned onto Pond Street, which quickly became residential again.
|A side street.|
We turned onto Columbus Ave, going by McCoy Stadium, which has the best RIPTA announcement I’ve ever heard. The announcer sounds so sad, like she’s about to cry! I have no idea what McCoy Stadium did to her, but it was hilarious to listen to. Wow, I sound sadistic, don’t I? Okay, anyway, the street quickly became residential again, but once we turned onto George Bennett Highway, we just blazed through an industrial wasteland.
We were on it for a while before finally turning onto Armistice Boulevard, and after a shopping plaza, it became lined with houses again. Complete with a median, we went down this wide road past the mostly unchanging scenery, aside from a few businesses when we intersected with Newport Ave and the 35. It was just houses after that until we entered Slater Park and looped around at the Pawtucket Country Club, just next to the border of Massachusetts.
|Just gonna hang out here on the side of the road for a bit.|
RIPTA Route: 80 (Armistice Boulevard)
Ridership: From what I’ve seen, it seems to be very low. Going outbound, there were exactly zero other people on board, while coming back in, there was only one.
Pros: The most important area this route serves is the one around Division Street and McCoy Stadium. This is a densely-packed and transit-starved neighborhood that definitely needs its own bus service.
Cons: I’m just not as convinced that the section along Armistice Boulevard is that necessary. There’s no other way to say it: that section of the route is mostly middle-class, and while it’s much different in Boston, the majority of RTA passengers are low-income. It’s not even like the route serves anybody that well: it runs every hour and a half, weekdays only.
Nearby and Noteworthy: McCoy Stadium doesn’t really count because the RIPTA runs a special bus up here during baseball season. Thus, all I can really say is Slater Park, which doesn’t exactly seem like a place most people would take the bus to, especially given the 80’s schedule.
Final Verdict: 3/10
The inner half of the 80 has its place, but I just don’t think the outer half of it sustains enough ridership to be worth it – plus, those areas still have the 35, while Columbus Ave is a little more isolated. That being said, even Columbus Ave has the 78 within a 15 minute walk, which certainly isn’t optimal, but it’s something. I think the 80 does serve an important role in some of the neighborhoods it serves, but it doesn’t get that much ridership, and it’s a tiny bit redundant…
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