$5.6M Federal Grant Awarded to Enhance Bus Service in Pawtucket Reed, RIPTA announce major grant to provide enhanced shelter, real-time signage to help make RI’s second busiest bus hub more efficient and convenient

PAWTUCKET, RI — U.S. Senator Jack Reed today joined with the Rhode Island Public
Transit Authority (RIPTA) and Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien in announcing more
than $5.6 million in newly awarded federal grants for bus facility upgrades and
service improvements for Pawtucket.

Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation
Housing and Urban Development (THUD), said that RIPTA has been awarded $5,636,745 in
funding through a «Buses and Bus Facilities» grant program administered by the
Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These federal transit dollars will enable
RIPTA to build amenities for bus passengers near the new Pawtucket/Central Falls
Commuter Rail Station being planned for the city, making it a true intermodal
facility.

«This is good news for Pawtucket. I commend Mayor Grebien and RIPTA for putting
together a strong application, and I know they will work together to put these funds
to good use enhancing service for passengers. These federal funds should help
upgrade bus stops, enhance safety, and improve transit services,» said Senator Reed.

«We are so pleased to receive the news that these needed dollars will be available
to our state to help create first-rate bus amenities for riders here in Pawtucket,»
said Mayor Grebien. «The vision has been to create a multimodal transit hub that
will allow everyone, including pedestrians and cyclists, to easily travel to and
from Pawtucket and access all our great city has to offer. This grant is another
significant step, on the heels of the recent TIGER grant award, toward achieving our
shared vision. Special thanks is owed to Senator Reed and our entire federal
delegation for their tireless work that is creating real results for all Rhode
Island communities.»

In applying for the grant, RIPTA stated that its goal is to build a new bus hub
adjacent to the new Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Station that is being
planned for Pawtucket near the Central Falls border between Barton Street, Conant
Street, Goff Avenue, and Dexter Street. That project, which is being partially
supported by a $13.1 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic
Recovery (TIGER) grant recently awarded to the Rhode Island Department of
Transportation (RIDOT), is expected to open by 2020.

RIPTA said that the new transit center will include several bus berths with enhanced
amenities for passengers such as digital signage with real-time information letting
them know when their next bus will arrive, ticket vending machines, and an enclosed
waiting space. The entire bus hub project is expected to cost about $7 million with
funding also being contributed by the City of Pawtucket, RIPTA, and the State of
Rhode Island. RIPTA officials said that bus routes will be realigned to serve the
new hub with a half-mile long enhanced transit corridor with high frequency service.

«We fully appreciate the continued support of Senator Reed and our entire federal
delegation,» said Raymond Studley, Chief Executive Officer of RIPTA. «With the
commuter rail station that is planned, this will allow us to bring trains and buses
together in Pawtucket. This is a great opportunity to build another intermodal
facility,» he said, noting that RIPTA is working with RIDOT on a larger transit hub
planned for Providence.

Currently located in the Blackstone Valley Visitor’s Center building at the corner
of Main and Roosevelt Streets, the Pawtucket bus hub is the second busiest hub in
RIPTA’s statewide system with eight routes offering more than 300 weekday bus
departures and connections to Providence, Central Falls, Cumberland, East
Providence, Lincoln, Warwick, and South Attleboro, MA. More than 4,000 passengers
board or alight there every weekday. RIPTA has been looking for a new location in
the city for a couple of years since its lease at the current location expires in
2017. The new commuter rail station is about a half mile west of the existing bus
hub.