Providence Business News has provided both a map and a rather pertinent fact about the new transit service: Construction will begin in the
spring of 2018.
Mary MacDonald, PBN Staff Writer. 3/14/16 PROVIDENCE – An enhanced bus line to service downtown Providence will be initiated within two years, elected officials and transportation authorities announced Monday.
The new service, which will follow a 1.4mile route connecting the Rhode Island Hospital area, the Interstate 195 district and Kennedy Plaza, is a substitute for the recently scrapped Providence streetcar proposal.
The $17 million service, called an enhanced transit corridor, will include six new buses provided to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. It will make use of $13 million in federal TIGER VI funds which had previously been awarded to Providence for
construction of a streetcar line. The remaining $4 million will be provided by the state, according to a news release.
The new route will run along Exchange, Dorrance and Eddy streets, running between Kennedy Plaza and the hospital district. The goal is to provide more frequent service, or a bus stopping at stops every five minutes. Bus stops will include curb extensions to accommodate waiting passengers, as well as bus shelters with seating, digital information signs and ticket vending machines.
The project is expected to be placed for public bids by the fall. Design plans should be completed by spring of 2017, with construction beginning in spring 2018, according to Emily Crowell, a spokeswoman for the city of Providence.
Elected officials, including Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, said the enhanced transit option would help strengthen economic development.
“Fast, convenient public transit will help make Rhode Island a more attractive place to live and work,” Raimondo said. “By building a new transit corridor connecting downtown, the 195 land and our world class universities, we’ll strengthen our pitch to businesses for why Providence is a great place to relocate or grow a business.”