The 69 is a new route to RIPTA’s network. The 69 was introduced in August 2021 as a replacement for a portion of the 66 in Narragansett. For RIPTA, this route seems to do a pretty good job.
The route runs from URI, through South Kingstown and Narragansett and ends at the Block Island Ferry terminal in Galilee. The route spends its entirety running through the service area of the 203 Flex. The routing is fairly direct (I don’t have an EDI measure for it yet. Need a refresher on what the EDI is?), servicing the main center of Wakefield, the Wakefield Mall, Salt Pond Plaza, and Scarborough Beach before making its way to Galilee. While the route avoids the main center of Narragansett near the Narragansett Town Beach, transfers are available from the 69 to the 14, 64, 65X, 66, 203 Flex, and limited runs of the 204 Flex.
The route runs every hour 7 days per week. Not terrible for a local route like the 69. The Block Island Ferry (which the route actually times pretty well with) runs every 2 to 3 hours, so hourly bus frequencies should be enough to service any ferry demand. The 69 runs from 5 am to 11 pm during the week, 7 am to 11 pm on Saturdays, and 8 am to 8 pm on Sundays, but there’s a couple of extra northbound trips until about 11 pm. A large chunk of 69 trips seem to interline with the 66 to Providence, so services continue to arrive in Providence until 1 am every night. (You know, I’ve been writing this blog for 10 months now, and I still haven’t figured out how to explain operating hours.)
Overall, it’s a really good route for RIPTA. Since the route is so new, I don’t have any ridership numbers for the 69, but it has a really good schedule and routing with great potential. I do kind of wish the 69 continued to the Kingston train station for easier boat to train (and vise versa) connections, but there are actually timed transfers between the 66 and 69 at URI.
Posted: May 21, 2022 18:26
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Cod on May 22, 2022 at 1:50 pm: just a random stab at thin air for ridership data, i'd take a guess (if anything) that it'd be highest around this time of the year (may-october) when tourism peaks in the region, with high ridership to Scarborough Beach and Galilee, while during the offseason (november-april) the ridership, while very low, is at its highest between URI and Salt Pond Plaza. Basically a similar story to the 67's ridership. Highest during late spring-early fall (hence the "key route" designation in the Master Plan), and lower during the offseason, largely sustained by locals and Salve Regina students