RI Wins $13.1M Federal TIGER Grant for Pawtucket, Central Falls Rail Station USDOT gets on board with plan to expand passenger rail service to Pawtucket and Central Falls

PAWTUCKET, RI - In an effort to improve the state's transportation network and
transform sections of Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island's Congressional
delegation today announced a $13.1 million federal boost for building a new commuter
rail station long-sought by Pawtucket and Central Falls.  The Rhode Island
Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will work with the Massachusetts Bay
Transportation Authority (MBTA) to provide service at the station, which will
provide riders with a more convenient alternative option while also offering a
connection to Wickford Junction, T.F. Green Airport, Providence, as well as other
stops all the way up to Boston's South Station.

RIDOT is being awarded a $13.1 million federal grant for the project through the
federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant
program.  The TIGER grant program is designed to spur tough-to-finance projects that
have a significant impact on a region or metropolitan area.  With this award, Rhode
Island has now received over $88 million in TIGER funds to upgrade highways, ports,
and public transit.

"This is great news for the state and a significant breakthrough for creating new
transportation and economic development opportunities for Pawtucket and Central
Falls," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), who led
efforts to include $500 million for TIGER grants to support significant
transportation projects in the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill adopted last
December.  "I commend Mayor Grebien, Mayor Diossa, Governor Raimondo, and her team
at RIDOT for putting together a competitive application to improve transportation
choices, advance smart growth, and transform the area.  The state must now work to
develop a coherent service plan that will support the new station and promote
commuter rail ridership throughout the state.  I will continue working to secure
federal investments to enhance our transportation network."

"Improving our public transit will make Rhode Island a more attractive place to live
and work," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  "This federal funding will bring
the commuter rail back to Pawtucket and Central Falls so more Rhode Islanders can
conveniently catch a train to Boston, Providence, or T.F. Green."

"A strong system of accessible public transportation is essential for people with
disabilities, for seniors, and for all Rhode Islanders who rely on these systems to
access employment, education, health care, and other critical services. By expanding
the commuter rail into the northern part of our state, Rhode Islanders can more
easily access and enjoy the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, and the
expansion will likewise bring economic benefits to all of the cities and towns
serviced by the MBTA," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "What's more, these
improvements will make it easier for our neighbors in Boston and across the region
to travel to our state for work and leisure, opening up new opportunities for
tourism and broader economic growth."

"This is great news for Rhode Island," said Congressman Cicilline, who advocated for
this federal funding. "The Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Station offers an
incredible opportunity to bolster the long-term economic fortunes of these two vital
cities and position Rhode Island as a central hub in New England. I am also proud of
the collaboration between federal, state and local officials that was required to
secure this critical funding. It is another important example of government working
to strengthen Rhode Island's economy and improve the lives of our state's citizens."

The new commuter rail facility is scheduled to be built between Dexter and Conant
Streets at an estimated cost of $40 million.  The two cities will provide a local
match of $3 million, with the state contributing additional funds, along with a
projected allocation of $18.9 million in federal funding that will be directed to
the state in annual appropriations.

"The backbone of a great economy is a diverse and comprehensive transportation
system, which includes a robust transit system," Governor Gina Raimondo said. "We
are grateful for the efforts of our Congressional delegation to provide us funding
to get this important project off the ground and provide improved rail service for
Rhode Island."

Pawtucket and Central Falls have been seeking to restore passenger rail service to
the area since commuter rail service stopped there in 1981.  In 2005, the City of
Pawtucket began discussions with RIDOT about adding a Pawtucket stop and, with the
help of a federal grant, commissioned a $344,000 feasibility study. In 2008, Reed
secured a $1.9 million earmark that RIDOT has used to further refine the location
and plans for a new station.

"The Pawtucket Central Falls Commuter Rail Station is a truly unique opportunity
that will link a dense urban population to job centers, educational opportunities,
retail and recreational assets. It will attract those from outside the area to its
historic mills and investment opportunities for mixed use transit-oriented
development that offers a lifestyle and business climate that are in high demand.
The Pawtucket and Central Falls teams have been aggressive and focused on this long
overdue project, which will be a game changer that will revitalize our communities. 
I am honored to be the Mayor of this great city and I am excited about the
opportunities this project will bring to our community and State as more and more
people Join the Evolution here in Pawtucket," said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R.
Grebien.

"On behalf of the people of Central Falls, I want to thank our congressional
delegation for their continued support of this project and for their assistance in
securing the funds to make it a reality. Today we are one step closer to bringing
unprecedented economic development and employment opportunities to this area," said
Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa.

"As we work to improve our roads and bridges in Rhode Island, we are also focused on
expanding and strengthening our transit system," Rhode Island Department of
Transportation Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "This new station will not only be an
asset to the residents of Pawtucket and Central Falls, but will serve as a catalyst
for economic development around the station."

RIDOT has already undertaken a preliminary design for the station with platforms,
ramps and shelter for waiting riders.  Now that the state has won a $13.1 million
TIGER grant, the next phase of planning and acquisition is slated to commence this
winter.

The pursuit of TIGER grants is very competitive.  For fiscal year 2016, USDOT
received 585 applications for the TIGER grant program requesting $9.3 billion in
funding.  All four members of Rhode Island's delegation submitted a letter in
support of RIDOT's application for TIGER funding.