More than a year after Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly approved a $35-million bond for two new downtown bus hubs, state officials are only now beginning to fill in details of the projects.
The future of the transit hubs was a popular topic at a recent public transportation forum, particularly among Providence business leaders who pushed for them and questioned why so little information about them had been made available.
Bonding for a bus hub at the train station in Providence was approved by voters. The possible sub-hub at the proposed Garrahy Courthouse parking garage is being developed by the Convention Center Authority which has the power to raise its own bonds without voter approval.
James P. McCarvill, executive director of the Convention Center Authority, said a consultant is doing a market analysis of the planned Garrahy garage that will determine the scale and scope of the facility and whether shops and a RIPTA bus hub can be supported by parking revenue.
Per City of Providence zoning, the garage will have to have commercial use on the ground level at least facing Richmond Street. Although the City allowed a various of that requirement for the proposed parking garage at South Street Landing.