Transportation Nation reports on discretionary grants awarded by the Federal Transporation Administration today. RIPTA receives two:
Bus Livability • Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, Providence, $400,000
Providence Train Station Bus Access Project: Improved Bus, Bicycle and Pedestrian Access to Key Intermodal Connection in Rhode Island’s Transportation System
In conjunction with the reconstruction of the Providence Train Station, RIPTA will use these funds to extend pedestrian, bus and bicycle access improvements to better connect Kennedy Plaza with the Providence Train Station, which is less than a quarter mile away. Extending pedestrian access between the two stations will leverage additional investments by supporting the efforts underway to improve Kennedy Plaza.
State of Good Repair • Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, Providence, $820,000
Rhode Island East Side Bus Tunnel Repairs
These funds will provide the first major renovation to the East Side Tunnel in 20 years, ensuring critical access to Providence’s central core for East Providence residents. With the tunnel carrying nearly 6,000 daily passengers, this construction project will improve the safety and reliability of transit service for RIPTA’s riders.
The bus tunnel repairs will also help RIPTA prepare the tunnel for future streetcar service.
It seems to me that RIPTA planners have generally done a good job of obtaining these discretionary grants. Don’t take it for granted. (no pun!)
Good news about the bus-train station improvements. The consultant hired to plan PVD train station upgrades has publically outlined a $6 million plan for a variety of exterior improvements including better bus connections, but only $1 million in funding had been previouly identified (an enhacement grant.) The $400,000 awarded should help the bus piece. Currently, there is indequate convenient info about which bus lines go to the station (actually #50,55,56,57,) there is no shelter outside for those waiting for a bus, the outbound buses do not actually stop where the bus stop signs are, and pedestrian conditions between K Plaza and the station could be better.
As for the tunnel, don’t hold your breath for the streetcar. I see little prospect of funding anytime soon. A previous thread contained a slam at RIPTA for not doing more to move ahead on this but they are the only ones who did anything (and they had plenty of public meetings to publicize it) to promote it after the previous Mayor left office. However, perhaps their vision (due to foreseeable funding?) was too limited to get enough people excited.
RIPTA’s press release regarding the grants.