Tag Archives | South County

PBN: The state’s 2012 bet on commuter-rail service has yet to pay off. Is it time to privatize?

Wickford Junction Station, image from RIDOT.

“We started a few months ago, doing a deep dive looking into what the MBTA can do, what it can’t do and why,” [RIDOT Director Peter] Alviti said. “Peak periods [are] quite a challenge for them to be able to give us more frequency during rush hours.”

The constriction relates to the design of the MBTA hub at South Station in Boston, according to Devine. It becomes a choke point during rush hours. “Without an expansion in additional capacity and trackage there, it really limits increasing the trains [to Rhode Island], particularly in the peak period,” he said.

Taking over the services themselves, however, would allow RIDOT to contract out the operations to a company that only has to cycle between Wickford Junction and Providence, and which might allow for future expansion.

The article goes on to discuss the need to add housing to the stop at Wickford Junction to provide a built-in client base for the service (true TOD, not a Home Depot and a Walmart) and also the potential for service to Quonset, which is an expanding jobs center.

We’re not going to tear down the $40 million station at Wickford Junction, so how do we make it work?


Wickford Junction Station and the Route 2/102 Park and Ride


Park and Ride at Routes 2 and 102. Image from Google Maps.

This post was submitted Greater City Providence reader Peter Brassard. If you’ve written something you’d like us to consider posting, please contact us and let us know.

On Tuesday, January 15th there was a meeting of the Rhode Island State Properties Committee, where the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) requested clarification regarding a Request for Proposals (RFP) to sell the Route 2/102 Park and Ride lot near Wickford Junction Station. The original RFP offered to sell the land for private development, but stipulated that the Park and Ride lot would have to be relocated and rebuilt at the expense of the developer.

RIDOT asked for clarification on whether the intent of the RFP would still be valid, if the agency dropped the requirement that the Park and Ride lot be relocated and rebuilt. The committee indicated that they would not support that change. They felt that it would be a clear departure from the original RFP and would create unnecessary hardship on the public that relies on the free lot to access public transit or to park cars when people car pool. The committee chair also said that they had been told in the past by RIDOT that the Wickford Junction Parking Garage would not be available for free.

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Free South County Beach Bus service on Governor’s Bay Day, July 29


The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will waive the roundtrip fare on all service to South County Beaches on Rte. 66 (URI/Galilee) on Sunday, July 29, 2012 in celebration of the Governor’s Bay Day. Rte. 66 (URI/Galilee) also provides express service from Central Falls, Cranston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket to Salty Brine, Roger Wheeler (Sand Hill Cove) and Scarborough State Beaches in South County.

Visit RIPTA for more details.


Wickford Junction Commuter Rail service to start April 23rd

Wickford Junction Station

Wickford Junction Station, photo via RIDOT

RIDOT announced today commuter rail service to the new Wickford Junction Station in North Kingstown will start on April 23rd. The station will be served by 20 trips per weekday to T.F. Green, Providence, and points north. Travel times being 15 minutes to Warwick, 35 minutes to Providence, and under two hours to Boston’s South Station.

“Expanded commuter rail service to Wickford is just over two weeks away,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “This additional service has been highly anticipated and should help alleviate congestion on our roadways.”

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Wickford Junction Station

Photo (cc) EdKopp4

Update Reports from the Wickford Junction Station groundbreaking state that the FTA announced that they have just authorized the release of nearly $2M in federal funds to RIDOT for preliminary engineering of a proposed MBTA commuter rail stop in Pawtucket.

WPRI has all the commuter rail details from the groundbreaking today of the Wickford Junction Station.

The MBTA plans to make three round trips daily between Boston and Warwick when the airport station first opens this fall. That will increase to eight by the time Wickford opens next year, according to R.I. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Dana Alexander Nolfe.

The number of passengers using the Wickford Junction station daily is forecast to rise from about 1,500 when service starts in 2011 to 1,669 in 2020, according to projections made in 1995 and cited by state planners. An additional 240 commuters are expected to use the Warwick station.

A ticket from North Kingstown to Boston will cost $9 each way, and a monthly pass will cost $280, Nolfe said. To go from North Kingstown to Providence, a one-way ticket will cost $2.75 and a monthly pass will cost $101.

One-way trips from Warwick will cost slightly less – $2.50 to Providence and $8.25 to Boston. Officials hope the airport station will be ready to open in October. That project’s final cost is estimated at $267 million.

The Wickford Junction station is set to open sometime next year. In addition to Wickford Junction, MBTA service is being considered for the Kingston and Westerly Amtrak stations, and at new stations in Pawtucket, Cranston, and East Greenwich.

Ted Nesi from WPRI also spoke with Senator Reed about the long process of making this station happen. It actually started with Senator Pell, remember him? No, neither do I.


Film Screening, “Where Do the Children Play?” (03/30)

Photo (cc) J. Stephen Conn

Documentary and Discussion Ask
‘Where Do the Children Play?’

KINGSTON, RI – A provocative documentary film, “Where Do the Children Play?,” will be shown at a free public screening on Tuesday, March 30 from 7:00-9:00pm at the University of Rhode Island’s new Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881). The film examines an issue of growing concern among pediatricians, mental health experts, educators and environmentalists: more and more children are growing up today with few opportunities for unstructured play, especially outdoors.

An audience discussion about the ideas explored in the film will follow, led by Providence Children’s Museum director Janice O’Donnell; Meadowbrook Waldorf School faculty chair Su Rubinoff; RI Families in Nature founder and director Jeanine Silversmith; and URI Child Development Center director Sue Warford.

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