Rhode Island Transit officials announced the creation of a new bus corridor through downtown Providence. The 1.4 mile transit project replaces the now-scrapped city streetcar project.
The new bus lines will move people from the Providence train station to the hospitals, on the other side of Interstate 95. The state will use $13 million in federal funds originally awarded for the streetcar.
RIPTA, along with the state department of transportation will create a new bus corridor between the two hubs with stops in downtown and the I-195 land. Buses will move along the new routes every five minutes during peak times.
RIPTA planning director Amy Pettine said the project will likely involve infrastructure changes, such dedicated bus lanes, or expanded sidewalks at bus stops.
“Part of the project is looking at roadway design, so how could we create any dedicated right of way for the buses to speed up that travel time,” said Pettine. “And then at the stations themselves, doing sidewalk extensions.”
Pettine said about 10,000 people are use bus-lines along the corridor daily, many, must transfer at Kennedy plaza, creating a bottleneck.
“Our goal is to create more one-seat rides in our system, to reduce that need to transfer in Kennedy Plaza,” said Pettine. “And so what I think what this is going to do is service destinations that people are already going to in our system, we’re just going to make it easier for them.”
The money will also pay for the purchase of six new buses which will be dedicated to the new corridor.