Greater City Providence

Core Connector Study Meeting, April 25

We have made significant progress since the December public forum. After studying a range of potential routes through the downtown core, a route has been selected for further analysis. We are now considering different transit technology options (streetcar or bus), street design requirements, environmental impacts, traffic and parking considerations, and related issues. Additionally, we are looking at potential development impacts and financing options to determine how a major transit investment could impact development patterns in the downtown core.

We would like to share our recent findings with you at an upcoming Core Connector Workshop. Members of the public are encouraged to drop in and learn more about the technical aspects of the study:

Monday, April 25, 2011
4:30PM – 6:00PM
The Commerce Center
30 Exchange Terrace, 1st Floor Conference Room

We appreciate all the thoughtful comment and input the community has provided over the course of the project to-date. Please visit for more information, including a map of the route, a new fact sheet and technical documents.

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • Yeah, is the bus idea really still on the table? Seems like this whole hooplah would be a major waste of time and money for just a bus route.

  • It is worth having the meetings, whether streetcar or bus.

    Most people including the mayor, DPD, the governor’s office and RIPTA support a streetcar option. The Core Connector study group has to investigate all options. First, to justify a streetcar option as the best alternative for economic development and second, to offer an alternative if it is not possible to secure funding for a streetcar option.

    I’m not in favor of the bus option. However, if it became impossible to implement the streetcars and the two options remaining were to provide rapid bus service or do nothing, I would support the rapid bus service as a second choice.

    Today, five years after Cicilline first announced the Transit 2020 study, central Providence still has no internal transit system, just buses passing through with no regard to interconnect downtown neighborhoods. If a streetcar is unattainable at this time, a special rapid bus with designated stations/stops to interconnect downtown and adjacent areas would be better than what the city has today, which is nothing.

  • The buses here in Providence are already little more than poverty shuttles. A streetcar could change the way that vehicle obsessed Rhode Islanders look at public transit. Rapid buses would continue to exclusively shuffle the impoverished from place to place.

  • I don’t disagree with the poverty shuttle description. If RIPTA really wanted a bus and no streetcar, they could have implemented downtown service five years ago without any study at all.

  • The bus option has to be explored as part of the federal funding process. There is also a no-build option being explored.

  • For anyone that doesn’t want a bus, go to the meeting and voice your opposition to the bus option and support for the streetcar option. Part of the purpose of the meeting is to get the public’s opinion to incorporate into the study.

  • Completely agree with the bus descriptions. Most mainstream Americans view them as penalty boxes for people not wealthy enough to commute with cars with the exception of what they see as the crazy urbanites who live in places like NYC, DC, or Chicago. If there’s no streetcar, there’s almost no point.

    And at what point do we stop taking public submissions and people with actual expertise start doing something? When did that Charette process for zoning start? 2006 or 7? Is that still ongoing?

  • Has anyone read the latest print version of Providence Business News? There is an article in there about the streetcar plan, and it contains quotes from a downtown business manager who is skeptical of it. Just wondering if anyone has read it and could summarize the point of the article? Thanks.

  • It was the manager of Bravo saying the construction would hurt his business and that he didn’t think anyone would ride it anyway.

    The rest of the article was cogent points from people at RIPTA and others about the benefits of transit and about the process the study is taking.

    Personally, I think this article is much better. 🙂

  • There is a link to a great video on that clears up some of the typical misconceptions regarding how streetcar construction might negatively impact local businesses along the route. It’s a few years old, but certainly relevant to discussions underway in Providence right now. In the video, Portland business owner Michael Powell discusses how streetcar construction there had a tremendously positive impact on his business and others along the streetcar route.

  • Official RIPTA/City of Providence Press Release about next week’s meeting:

    Public Invited to Learn More about New Downtown Transit Options

    The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the City of Providence are evaluating a
    potential new transit route through Providence’s downtown core. This Core Connector route would
    connect significant educational, medical, employment and cultural destinations in Providence with
    the central bus hub in Kennedy Plaza and rail services at the train station.

    The study is being conducted in response to recommendations made in the Metropolitan Providence Transit Enhancement Study in 2009, and the Transit 2020 Action Group’s proposal to build a streetcar system in Providence. (Transit 2020 is a coalition of the local universities, hospitals, businesses, nonprofit groups, and the communities of Providence, Cranston, East Providence, North Providence and Pawtucket).

    RIPTA and the City of Providence are examining the feasibility, cost and benefits of introducing either a streetcar or enhanced bus service along a new Core Connector route. We will be sharing recent findings at an upcoming Core Connector Workshop:

    Monday, April 25, 2011
    The Commerce Center
    30 Exchange Terrace, 1st Floor Conference Room

    Members of the public are encouraged to drop in and learn more about the technical aspects of the study. Information to be shared includes local street design requirements, station locations, potential environmental impacts, and traffic and parking considerations. Additionally, we are looking to determine how a major transit investment could impact development patterns in the downtown core and to identify financing options to build and support the new service.

    Please drop in at this upcoming workshop or visit for more information, including a map of the route, project fact sheets and other background materials.

Providence, RI
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