I actually got the 3 from Stop & Shop, since it’s an outbound-only deviation right near the terminus! It actually does another one just before the Stop & Shop to the Fall River Shopping Center, but they share a parking lot, so it’s technically the same deviation. From Stop & Shop, we looped our way around to the proper terminus at Ocean State Job Lot…but the layover point is kinda far from the store, so it feels like the bus is just sitting in a random industrial area instead.
So we went down Amity Street from the end (or now start) of the route, and the industry soon gave way to an apartment development. It turned to regular houses when we turned onto Laurel Street, but there also was another development and the back of the Fall River Shopping Center. From there, though, it was basically all houses until we got to Plymouth Ave.
We were on Plymouth Ave for exactly one block before we turned off onto Globe Street. This was an urban local street: dense houses and a few little businesses here and there. We turned onto East Main Street, which was more or less the same thing until we joined South Main Street, meeting up with the 1 soon after. Now, there were lots of businesses, as well as a hospital and a park. The road started to feel like a downtown eventually, with a ton of dense retail on both sides, and once we hit I-195, we made our way around to the terminal.
SRTA Route: FR 3 (Laurel)
Ridership: Overall ridership on the 3 is pretty good; in May 2014, it got about 365 passengers per day. It’s interesting to note, though, that the route got about 24 passengers per revenue hour – the 3 runs every half hour, so that’s four trips every hour (two in each direction), meaning an average of six people per trip. Hm.
Pros: The route takes a direct path to the southern parts of Fall River, and it serves some big important stores near its terminus. It’s also super frequent, running every half hour weekdays and Saturdays, although only until around 6 PM.
Cons: The terminus at Ocean State Job Lot is really weird, and there’s little indication of where the bus actually boards. I also wonder if there’s a market for night or Sunday service in the form of a 3/5 loop – that could be a more efficient way of providing it if it’s needed. Indeed, neither the 3 nor the 5 get that much ridership, so maybe they could be combined full-time.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Nothing much except for the shopping centers at the end of the route. I already mentioned the South Main Street corridor in the 1 review, but that looks interesting, too.
Final Verdict: 7/10
It’s a good local route. It’s direct. It serves places that need bus service. Not much else to say here, it’s not a very interesting route.
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