I was very lucky to have taken the FR 6 in the outbound direction. Going outbound, it’s just a nice straight shot to Walmart. Coming inbound, it has to do a strange jog to serve…Battleship Cove. Except Battleship Cove hasn’t been directly served by the SRTA in a while, I think because of construction (not that I can see any now), so the route sorta weakly goes out sorta in the direction of the Cove, and…yeah, it’s just a big mess. Anyway, I’m glad I took it outbound for my sanity.
We headed out onto Pleasant Street, which was mostly industrial, with a few suburban businesses thrown in there. Soon, we turned onto Quarry Street, where the industry, plus some more retail and houses, continued. Crossing over the Quequechan River, the Walmart showed up just after, and everyone was let out at a stop across the street with no crosswalk. On weekdays, the route goes a little further, running down Brayton Ave through a highway interchange before deviating to an elder services building on Father Devalles Boulevard, but on this Saturday, we were at the end. What a fun eight minutes!
SRTA Route: FR 6 (Pleasant Street)
Ridership: It’s one of the least-used routes in Fall River, getting about 221 people per day. Honestly, based on the industrial nature of the Pleasant Street corridor, I’ll bet most of those passengers are just going to Walmart.
Pros: If you’re going outbound, this is the most direct route to Walmart. The 6 only runs every hour, but it’s coordinated with the 10 to give Walmart half-hourly service.
Cons: There are a lot. Let’s see…the inbound route has its ridiculous jog; the inbound route also runs up the really narrow Quequechan Street instead of Quarry Street, ostensibly to serve some houses, but it’s just a block away, so it’s really just making the route more complicated; the weekday deviation to Father Devalles Boulevard means that outbound headways have to be every 20-40 minutes in conjunction with the 10, rather than a clean every 30 (also, the NB 9 runs closer to Father Devalles Boulevard than the 6 does, but that route is too major to deviate…ideally the 6 wouldn’t deviate either, but maybe it needs to be served for political reasons); the SRTA misspells Father Devalles Boulevard as “Father Devallas Boulevard” on the route schedule; the entire section on Pleasant Street is also covered by the NB 9, which is a much more frequent route, and that means that basically the only purpose of the 6 is to provide slightly more direct Walmart service than the 10; the Walmart stop basically forces people to jaywalk in order to get to their destination; and buses get thirteen minutes to do what is essentially an 8-minute trip, so they’re always early. Phew, that was a lot.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Ehhh…basically just Walmart. The route does cross the Quequechan River Rail Trail, which looks like a nice walk, but at just 1.4 miles, it’s also a short one.
Final Verdict: 2/10
This route is trash. The only thing good about it is that it combines with the 10 to get half-hourly service to Walmart, but that’s it. The 6 isn’t even that much faster – it takes eight minutes, the 10 takes thirteen. Plus, the 6 is scheduled to take thirteen minutes, so to anyone looking at the schedule, they’re exactly the same. And of course, the inbound 6 is just stupid. Yeah, I hate this one.
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