The Downtown Transit Connector will provide high-frequency transit service (every 4-5 minutes in each direction) between the Providence Amtrak/MBTA Station and the Hospital District in Upper South Providence. There will be six stops along the corridor, each designed with a unique and highly-visible identity. The stops will include shelters, real-time bus arrival signage, bike share stations and other passenger amenities. Opportunities to enhance RIPTA service using signal priority for buses or dedicated bus lanes will be considered, as well as efforts to create attractive public spaces around each stop.
For now, the project is being called the Downtown Transit Connector (DTC). Part of the design effort will include branding to select the look, feel and possible name of the transit corridor.
The $17 million project is funded by RIPTA and a USDOT Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to the City of Providence in 2014. Part of the funding will be used by RIPTA to purchase vehicles to operate the service.
A second public information session was held in May 2017 to present design concepts for the DTC that will now advance into engineering. Six station locations were identified, along with dedicated bus lanes in certain segments. This meeting was jointly held with the City of Providence and included discussion of potential long term concepts for continuing to transform Kennedy Plaza as an active civic space while accommodating RIPTA buses. VIEW PRESENTATION
We held our first public information session in December 2016 to introduce the project to local residents and other stakeholders and to get input on the type of passenger amenities desired along the corridor. VIEW PRESENTATION
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Jarrett Walker, an internationally renowned transit planning consultant toured the DTC route in March 2017, then reported on his blog "...it solves two urgent downtown problems at once. It provides the attractive and legible very-frequent spine that makes so many American urbanists want streetcars, but it also solves the problem of getting major bus line through downtown, so that the whole city benefits. Itâ€™s an excellent project with relevance to many US downtowns. I encourage you to follow its progress."
Project engineers are working to lay out design concepts for stations and other amenities in the corridor. Please check back soon, as proposed concepts will be posted to the website as they are developed.
The DTC will serve four downtown Providence neighborhoods: the Hospital District, the Jewelry District, Downcity and Capital Center. Service will be operated by regular RIPTA routes that are extended to run along the corridor via Eddy Street, Dorrance Street, Kennedy Plaza and Exchange Street. The preliminary service plan proposes that Routes 51, 55, 58 and 72 be extended south beyond Kennedy Plaza to RI Hospital, and that Routes 3 and 6 be extended north to Providence Station. Route 1 may also be extended to serve Providence Station.
RIPTA is currently working with the City to locate stations. The current plan proposes stations at: 1) RI Hospital; 2) Davol Square/South Street Landing; 3) the future Waterfront Park and Providence River Pedestrian Bridge; 4) Dorrance Street/Downcity; 5) Kennedy Plaza; and 6) Providence Station. Service in the corridor would only stop at these station locations, providing for a faster trip between downtown destinations.VIEW MAP