A Transportation Lamentation

When I moved to Providence from Toronto, I knew it would be different. Not just in the Canada Vs. US way, but also the big city vs mid-sized city way. I knew that there would be less hustle and bustle, less glitz, glamor and the like, but one of the biggest differences has been that Providence lacks a reliable public transportation system.

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RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transportation Association) is comprised entirely of bus routes that meander all over the very little state. This is great when you want to travel an hour and a half to Newport one day and you only have to pay two dollars each way, but if you want to get from my apartment to Brown, you basically have one every-twenty minutes bus line (and then it takes you twenty-plus minutes). If you want to get from my apartment to the nearest Whole Foods, you have to take that same bus line to the center of town and then walk the rest of the way, which is not really worth it in the end.

I can’t believe I actually miss the TTC, but I really do.

The solution: When in town, we Zipcar, which works beautifully (maybe some other time I’ll discuss the great experience that we’ve had with Zipcar, but let me just say based on my experience, I’d recommend it).  We also walk an ungodly amount, which we really don’t mind too much.

One of the little joys in my week is the privilege of taking the commuter rail to and from Boston on Tuesday and Thursdays (when it’s not raining/snowing because then it’s usually late). When I get to south station, I hop on “The T” and ride blissfully to the MIT campus.

Taking the train is so effortless. So civilized. I miss it.

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Also: People reading on the subway! Read on friends!

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