Dancing the Megatropolis


Chapter 9: Westerly to Providence



I was glad that I’d allowed so much time to get from Stonington to Westerly; there are only four buses inbound to Providence each day, and three of them are clustered between 6am and 7:01am. It’s really built for commuters - apparently a ton of people take Amtrak to Providence from Westerly, as it’s only $7 and a relatively quick ride. A very talkative guy doing a reverse commute told me, among many other things, that he preferred the train but the bus is cheaper and “doesn’t cheat” him “as much.” 


The lone afternoon bus is scheduled for 3:40, and if I missed that I’d have to take Amtrak and it would scotch the plan again. Fortunately it arrived, albeit five minutes late. No big deal - there are lots of Providence-to-Boston trains and I wasn’t going further that day. (Others have done Washington-to-Boston sans breaks and in one 24-hour push, making scheduling much more critical.) 



Westerly, RI to Providence, RI (Kennedy Plaza)

Fare: $2

Cumulative Fare: $113.98


Rhode Island is the smallest state, but it still felt neat to take a municipal-style bus most of the way across it! (There’s also always that pseudo-transgressive thrill when you’re in one of these kinds of buses and it goes onto the interstate - all the buses I took on this journey wound up on the highways at some point.) 

We made up some of the delay once we got out on the highway, but a traffic slowdown as we hit the beginnings of Providence’s rush hour erased our gains, and we pulled into Kennedy Plaza downtown three minutes behind schedule. I was slightly thrown because the schedule had the bus making a couple more stops in downtown Providence, but the driver shut the bus down when we arrived. We also arrived at a different stop in Kennedy Plaza, the bus hub, than was mentioned in the schedule, so once I got my bearings I had to trot to the train station - as air traffic controllers say, “no delay.”