So…why is there a Flex service down here, exactly? Within the 203’s Flex Zone, we have two fixed routes that run daily service and cover most of the zone. Plus, RIPTA has extensive paratransit service throughout the zone that uses the same reservation system. So basically, the 203’s target audience is people who:
- Are under age 60
- Don’t have a disability
- Can’t use a fixed route for some reason
- Are willing to call in advance, or get on the bus at a timepoint, which only happens four times per day
|Just hanging out in the parking lot, I guess.|
|The pictures only get worse from here…|
|This is basically my only picture of something.|
It was more trees and houses until we turned onto Galilee Escape Road. The 66 takes a slightly longer route, since it goes to serve another beach, so we were once again solo. After running through marshland, we turned onto Great Island Road, coming past the many docks and fish markets of Galilee. “Sorry about making you come down here,” Sam said to the driver. “Eh,” he grumbled. “It is what it is.” He let us off at the Block Island Ferry Terminal just as the 66 home was leaving, so we wandered around the empty roads of Galilee waiting for the next one to finish its hour-long layover.
|A minibus in Galilee!|
RIPTA Route: 203 (Narragansett Flex)
Ridership: Well, clearly there’s no one at 6:00! Just based on the character of the route, I’ll bet this thing doesn’t get many people.
Pros: Huh…I have to say, there isn’t much I have to say here.
Cons: This is just such a niche route! I mean, there are just so few people who happen to be travelling to places fixed routes don’t go, and don’t qualify for RIde service! Hey, at the very least, the 6:00 timepoint could be eliminated.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Well, gee, nothing that’s not already covered by fixed routes.
Final Verdict: 1/10
I see no reason to keep this thing around. It seems to benefit only a tiny amount of people, and I’m sure many of them could just switch over to RIde instead. Narragansett is well-served by fixed routes, particularly the 66, and the 203 just feels pointless and redundant.
Latest MBTA News: Service Updates
Was combined with the 210 (and took RIPTA a month to publish the new schedule, nice job) so now there are TWO vehicles that can operate in narragansett, and now with weekend service. Nice to have? Yes. Needed? No.
Note: there are a few things like the south county commons and other places that you can’t get to unless you use the flex, cuz of the whole route 1 thing and some people might not be eligible for RIde so I GUESS its worth keeping around? Maybe reassign the 2nd vehicle to woonsocket or warwick though…
Also, please make an app reservation system for the flex routes alreadyyyy…
Okay this is the actual last comment, promise