Enhanced Transit Corridor in Downtown Providence

 Enhanced Transit Corridor in Downtown Providence

Announced Project Utilizes Federal and State Grants to Connect Areas of Economic

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined Governor Gina Raimondo, the Rhode
Island Congressional Delegation, representatives from the Federal Transit
Administration, RIPTA, RIDOT and community stakeholders to announce plans for a
1.4-mile Enhanced Transit Corridor in Downtown Providence.

«This project is an example of the mutually beneficial outcomes that are possible
when all levels of government work creatively and collaboratively,» said Mayor Jorge
Elorza. «Together with partners at the state and federal level, we are building a
tool that will encourage economic activity and help strengthen Providence’s

«Fast, convenient public transit will help make Rhode Island a more attractive place
to live and work,» said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. «By building a new transit
corridor connecting downtown, the 195 land, and our world-class universities, we’ll
strengthen our pitch to businesses for why Providence is a great place to relocate
or grow a business. At the same time, this project will help attract talent who want
a city that is easy to access and get around. I am grateful to our Congressional
Delegation, the City of Providence, RIPTA, and RIDOT for working together to bring
these federal dollars to Rhode Island and make this project a reality.»

The project will provide peak bus service, on an average of every five minutes,
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.

«We need to better connect neighborhoods and economic centers across the City and
ensure riders can safely and conveniently get where they need to go. The project
Mayor Elorza and the State have developed will have the feel and convenience of a
street car, with dedicated shelters and stops, signal prioritization, and frequent
service — so if riders miss a bus across town during rush hour, they’ll only have
to wait a short time for the next one. This plan offers greater convenience and
more flexible service, while also saving about $100 million in capital costs that
would have come with laying rails in the ground for a streetcar. This is a smart
and cost-effective investment in enhancing Providence’s transportation system now
and in the future, and I am pleased we were able to work with the U.S. Department of
Transportation to make these federal TIGER funds available,» said U.S. Senator Jack
Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and
Housing and Urban Development (THUD).

«This new transit corridor will connect neighborhoods across downtown Providence,»
said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. «It will help workers, students, and shoppers get
to some of Rhode Island’s largest employers, our world-class universities and
hospitals, and the soon-to-be-redeveloped former I-195 land. By investing this
federal grant money in infrastructure and modernizing our transit options, we are
laying the groundwork for long-term economic growth and job creation.»

The project utilizes $13 million in TIGER VI funds which had previously been awarded
for the construction of a street car. The revised proposal, which has been approved
by the US Department of Transportation, is better aligned with the goals of the
community, City, and State and can be delivered at an estimated total capital cost
for the project is $17 million with additional funds provided by the state.

«A strong system of public transportation makes for a more accessible, livable
community, and this enhanced transit corridor will make it easier for Rhode
Islanders to live, work and play in our capital city,» said Congressman Jim
Langevin. «The City of Providence is open for business, and this transit system
sends that message loud and clear.»

«Robust transportation systems are the key to great cities and help make them more
attractive to new residents and improve quality of life for existing communities. I
am proud to join with Mayor Elorza and local leaders to celebrate the new Downtown
Enhanced Transit Corridor,» Congressman David Cicilline added. «Using federal
funding, this exciting new transpiration model will provide better bus service to
key destinations downtown and I look forward to working with my colleagues as this
project continues.»

Service for the Downtown Enhanced Transit Corridor will run along Exchange,
Dorrance, and Eddy streets, providing quick and reliable transportation between
Kennedy Plaza, two new intermodal transit hubs planned for the areas around the
Providence Station and the Hospital District, and key office, retail, entertainment,
and institutional destinations both within, and beyond the Downtown core.

«At RIDOT, we are laser focused on the needs of our transportation system not only
today, but in the future,» RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. «Projects like this
one will provide a unique transit feature for the city, and will mark another step
forward for more transit choices and better transit utilization for Rhode Island.»

«RIPTA is excited to be part of advancing the downtown Providence transit connector
project, and we thank our federal delegates for their support throughout this
application process,» said Raymond Studley, CEO of the Rhode Island Public Transit
Authority (RIPTA). «RIPTA is looking forward to providing the City of Providence
with this enhanced service as transit is key to economic growth. Furthermore, we
are confident that RIPTA’s statewide network and services will provide needed
connections to the LINK redevelopment district and surrounding areas.»
Bus stops along the corridor will include curb extensions to accommodate waiting
passengers, bus shelters, seating, real time arrival information, increased signage,
ticket vending machines for off-board fare payment, branding, WiFi, and integrated
bike-share amenities.