Greater City Providence

NEXT STOP: Making Transit Work for Rhode Island – December 1, 2015


Coalition for Transportation Choices to host forum on making transit work for more Rhode Islanders.

From Grow Smart RI:

Transit forum will examine lessons learned in Denver, Minneapolis and Hartford as local officials explore how to make transit work for more Rhode Islanders

Nearly 80% of Rhode Island’s population lives within a 10-minute walk of a transit stop. Still, only about 2.7% of the state’s population uses transit regularly. It’s something of a “chicken or egg” conundrum since service must first be robust, convenient and frequent enough to attract would-be riders.

In collaboration with the Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC), Grow Smart RI is helping to present NEXT STOP: Making Transit Work for Rhode Island, a forum for business, civic and political leaders – together with transit riders – on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Featured speakers will include those involved in advancing popular transit services in Minneapolis, Denver and Hartford. A local leaders panel will then examine the challenges and opportunities for making transit work for more Rhode Islanders, saving time and money for commuters, while contributing to the revitalization of urban and town centers and reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

Concepts and priorities discussed will help to inform a detailed 10-year proposal for transforming our state’s transit system a catalyst for sustainable economic growth.

[alert type=”muted”]For more information and to register for this free event, visit Grow Smart RI.[/alert]

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • while not a waste of time, there should have been representation from Massachusetts. There is never discussion of the Providence Metro area which spans two state and might include parts of Eastern Ct. in the future. Other than going between Boston and Providence workers have no direct alternative to driving a car. No public transportation to Fall River or New Bedford. No direct service to immediate parts of Seekonk or the Attleboros. The last direct public transit was between Taunton and Providence, but the fare was higher than the current $2 fare on RIPTA and transfers were not allowed between RIPTA and the Taunton service. This needs to be addressed. RIPTA’s charter allows servic out of state if it is moving Rhode Islander for employment or shopping services.

  • Link to the Projo story about the forum.

    I found this quote confusing, though:

    Amy Pettine, RIPTA executive director of planning, said her agency is still waiting to hear from the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, which is building the Garrahy garage, on whether space will even be available for a RIPTA hub and, if so, when it might be built.

    I don’t understand why RIPTA is saying that there is the possibility that no space will be available at the Garrahy garage for a transit hub. I thought that was the whole point of the $35 million bond approved by voters in 2014 was to spend it on the hub at the Amtrak station and the Garrahy garage. Can someone in the know explain this?

  • The bond was kind of squishy. It was ostensibly for the hub at the train station in Providence, but had vague language, some money could be put toward a superstation in Pawtucket, or other projects.

    The Convention Center Authority has its own power to float bonds without voter approval and did for a parking garage at the Garrahy Courthouse which may or may not have a bus hub within it or outside it…

    Amy actually said the programming for how much parking is needed, how much retail space will exist on the ground level, and what RIPTA’s needs are is still be discussed, but RIPTA is meeting regularly-ish with the Authority to iron it out. There is also discussion about land closer to the Hospitals that RIPTA might use for a sub-hub and RIPTA and others are exploring if that location (which was not exactly disclosed) might work better for all stakeholders.

    They are having more frequent meetings with RIDOT and Commerce to work out details for the train station hub.

  • Getting a little worried about the transit hub at the train station. An article in the Providence Journal which speaks about RIPTA planning “expansion near Rhode Island hospital” also mentions that planning for the bus terminal at Providence Station has been moving slowly. It also includes the below quote from a DOT spokesman:

    Last year state Department of Transportation officials said they hoped to show progress, planning a public-private partnership at the train station in the first quarter of this year, but on Thursday, DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin pushed that back to the “first half” of this year.

    “The next step is for RIDOT to engage the [real estate development] industry in review of the hub proposal, prior to soliciting proposals for the development of the hub at the Amtrak station, for its design and construction,” St. Martin said in an email.

    Can someone please explain why the real estate industry needs to be engaged in the development of the Providence Station bus terminal and, most importantly, please talk me off the ledge and assure me that the state and RIPTA are still committed to this project?

  • It is imagined that the hub would have mixed-use development on top of it. The land is considered too valuable just to have a large one story bus station sprawled over it (though, the land has been vacant for going on 20-years).

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