Wickford Junction

RIPR file photo

The Rhode Island Department of  Transportation is making some changes at Wickford Junction aimed at encouraging more commuters to use public transportation.

Public transit officials plan to open a new bus station next week and close a nearby park-and-ride lot. State officials said they hope to sell the parking lot property for about $2 million.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis. They not only discuss why ridership is light on the commuter rail line south of Providence. Director Lewis also talks about the federal highway trust that’s expected to run dry by next year. It’s the state’s only source of transportation funding.

Amtrak is spending the summer replacing old railroad ties along the Northeast Corridor. This replacement work is coming to the MBTA’s line in Rhode Island, and starting Friday it will affect six lines delivering passengers to Wickford Junction. This includes trains that will stop at Wickford, but not at TF Green airport, or trains that will end at the airport and not continue on to Wickford.

The disruptions will only be on Fridays starting this week and will end on Friday August 9th.