Greater City Providence

Metro Transit Study to be released Thursday

Photo (cc) Providence Public Library

The ProJo has a very good comprehensive story on the Metro Transit Study which is to be officially released on Thursday. Really, it is a good story, the best, most balanced story on RIPTA I think I’ve ever seen in the Journal.

I am planning to attend the release event on Thursday morning and will have a comprehensive post of my own. In the meantime, you can read up on the study here.

ProJo had this awesome rendering on the frontpage of the print edition.


Should our streetcars be orange to go with the city’s “P” branding?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • Orange streetcars are a great idea. Red has been a bit overdone worldwide. Besides they would be easier to spot by drivers during all times of day and weather conditions.


    The Transit2020 group has made a tremendous start. Though there may be some confusion regarding the location of Atwells Avenue and Broadway for proposed future extensions leading out of Downtown (see link).

    The members of the Transit2020 group may have limited experience or personal usage with rail transit. We should be all the more vigilante at pointing out possible missteps when proposals are made for the new streetcar system. This is not as much about mislabeled streets as shown in the map as it is about creating logical routes that encourage development and jobs, connect the greatest number of riders, and connect all commercial corridors or potential ones.

    As an example, consider the entire Woonasquatucket Valley, which is seen by the city as the new area to cultivate the “green” economy in a similar way to that of the Jewelry District for the medical and educational economies. Other than references about possible intersections by probable crossovers on major thoroughfares through the Valley with streetcars, presently there is no proposal to unify the entire district with Downtown with streetcars or other transit. The Valley represents a great potential for millions of square feet of existing and potential floor area for the location of new jobs.

    If you work in the Jewelry District or Capital Center and have a meeting to go to at Alco, how would you get there by transit?

    Other possible extensions or linkages would obviously be the entire waterfront and also maybe not so obvious Wayland Square.

    Transit2020’s focus on Downtown, the Jewelry and Hospital Districts along with Thayer Street and Brown are good as a “starter,” but are the more obvious and narrow in focus. This is an excellent start for the initial installation of the new system, but in terms of longer term planning limited and conventional.

  • Oops! I’ve seen other docs where Atwells and Broadway were marked properly, this appears to be something that was prepared externally.

    I think the arrow pointing east from the College Hill hub is indicative of Wayland Square. I think the Valley area has been bounced around a lot as a potential route and the arrow northbound on Francis Street is the most likely routing I’ve seen, around the back of the mall.

    And we need to remember, this is not just about streetcars, the study looks to make large improvements to the bus system. We may find that it is easier to serve the Valley for example with a BRT line and have the rails head out Broadway, for example.

  • These proposals need to consider speed of transit.

    For the Valley it might make sense to provide BRT from Olneyville Square along the river to the mall then to Providence Station by way of Park or Holden Streets with frequent service. Initial streetcar connections at Providence Station could occur with that BRT and later Broadway.

    To minimize the time to Wayland Square initial BRT service could be provided within the Eastside train tunnel. This would not only connect the Wayland Square’s commercial/retail district, but could speed Elmgrove Avenue and Blackstone Blvd. commuters to Downtown, many of whom currently drive.

  • Another oops! Cranston Avenue? If their graphics are being farmed out, why not use a local graphic designer?

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