Following the passage of a $35 million transit bond in 2014, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and partners have planned to improve the quality of the state’s transportation system by developing transit hubs at the northern and southern edges of downtown Providence. They will be connected by buses along a 1.4 mile Enhanced Transit Corridor that will stop in Kennedy Plaza, the Jewelry District, and the I-195 corridor, offering frequent service, signal prioritization, and dedicated shelters.
The northern hub, known as the Providence Intermodal Transit Center, will integrate Amtrak and MBTA train service with RIPTA and regional bus service, parking, and additional mixed use development which will be funded by the private sector. According to RIDOT, this model offers significant economic development benefits and should make public transportation more convenient and attractive for riders to use.
Last week, in response to a request for qualifications, RIDOT received proposals from 4 real estate development firms for the construction of the northern hub. The responses are currently under review, and qualified development teams will be invited to compete in an upcoming request for proposals (RFP) process. In late summer 2017, RIDOT plans to award a contract, with construction expected to begin in fall 2018.
Read more about the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy’s support for improving the statewide transportation system and the hubs’ potential impact on Kennedy Plaza.