Earlier this morning, the first commuter train left Providence for Wickford Junction! One train arrived at 10:50, just in time for a ceremonial grand opening that included U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Senator Jack Reed and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael Lewis.
The Wickford Junction Train Station, located at 1011 Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown, was designed and built through a public/private partnership between RIDOT and the developers. Construction started in September 2010, and the project was completed in March through a $25 million contract with Manafort Brothers, Inc. The station now has a coffee shop, an indoor waiting area, and heated bathrooms, along with seating and covered areas along the 848-foot platform. The 4-story parking garage can accommodate 1,100 cars and has 10 charging stations for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Parking will cost $4 per day, and monthly rates are available.
The facility extends commuter rail service using the MBTA Providence-Stoughton line and is also linked to Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus service. As one of the key components of the South County Commuter Rail expansion, the new service should help to alleviate peak hour congestion by getting vehicles off the highway, specifically the Route 4/I-95 corridor. MBTA now offers commuters 20 trips per day, Monday through Friday, including 4 peak morning trains through Providence into Boston. Seven trains return from Boston to Wickford Junction each day, including four after 4 PM. Travel time from Wickford to Warwick will be about 15 minutes, Wickford to Providence is about 35 minutes, and it’s less than two hours from Wickford to Boston’s South Station. For a complete schedule, visit the MBTA website. You may download a pdf here.
Fares vary according to destination. The cost of travel between Wickford Junction and Providence, an Interzone 3 fare, will cost $2.50 each way ($3.25 starting July 1st). Travel between Wickford Junction and Boston’s South Station, a Zone 10 fare, will cost $9 each way ($11 starting July 1st). Unlimited monthly passes are also available ranging from $89 ($109 starting July 1st) for travel between Wickford Junction and Providence, to $308 ($345 starting July 1st) for travel between Wickford Junction and South Station.
Photo: courtesy of RIDOT.