RIPTA, the Providence Department of Planning and Development, Mayor Elorza, Governor Raimondo, and the State’s Congressional Delegation today announced an enhanced transit corridor through the capital city’s downtown. The corridor will feature RIPTA buses running on a 1.4 mile route between Providence Station and the Hospitals with 4-5 minute headways.
Press Release from the Providence Department of Planning and Development:
Mayor Elorza, Governor Raimondo, Congressional Delegation, RIPTA and State and Federal Representatives Announce Plans for a New Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor
The US Department of Transportation has approved the use of the City of Providence’s $13,000,000 TIGER VI grant for the construction of a Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor that will provide scheduled, frequent bus service through the heart of Downtown. The 1.4-mile corridor will provide bus service as frequently as every five minutes during peak hours, connecting Rhode Island’s largest employment hubs and world-class institutions to the downtown core and adjacent neighborhoods, while passing directly through the LINK District, the City’s key redevelopment area made available by the recent relocation of Interstate 195.
The $13,000,000 in TIGER VI funding was originally awarded to the City of Providence, in partnership with RIPTA, in 2014 for the construction of the Providence Streetcar project, which was proposed to connect the Hospital District and College Hill through downtown Providence. The City of Providence, RIPTA, and RIDOT have worked together over the past several months to develop an alternative project for the City’s TIGER grant funds to strengthen the project and ensure that it better aligns with the goals of the community, City, and State and can be delivered at a lower cost.
Service for the Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor will run along Exchange, Dorrance, and Eddy streets, providing service to key destinations, including Providence Station, Kennedy Plaza, Downcity, the LINK District, South Street Landing, and the Hospital District. The estimated total capital cost for the project is $17,000,000.
As the State’s mobility manager, RIPTA will manage the bus service on this new route which will be serviced by existing RIPTA buses. New branding will make the route and the buses that serve it easily recognizable for passengers. Multiple existing RIPTA bus routes will be modified or have their service extended to serve the Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor. Buses running those routes will then continue on to their final destinations beyond the core of downtown Providence. Riders from these key destinations across the metropolitan area will benefit from direct connectivity and improved service to the Downtown Transit Emphasis Corridor.
Bus stops along the corridor will include a high level of passenger amenities including branding, bus shelters, seating, real time arrival information, increased signage, ticket vending machines for off-board fare payment, WiFi, and integrated bike-share amenities.
The service will provide passengers with quick and reliable transportation between Kennedy Plaza, two new intermodal transit hubs planned for the areas around Providence Station and the Hospital District, and key office, retail, entertainment, and institutional destinations both within and beyond the Downtown core. At the Providence Station, the route will connect riders to Amtrak service as well as MBTA Commuter Rail service to Boston, TF Green Airport, and Wickford Junction. The development of two new intermodal transit hubs at Providence Station and in the Hospital District, coupled with ongoing growth of intercity and commuter rail service, will increase transportation options and development opportunities while jump starting RIPTA’s recently-developed plans to redesign Downtown bus service around multiple intermodal hubs.