Downtown Transit Connector

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bus routes will serve the DTC?
The service plan is not yet final, but RIPTA proposes to extend Routes 1, 3, 6, 51, 55, 58, and 72 along the corridor.

Why won’t more RIPTA routes travel along the DTC corridor? What about Routes 56 and 57?
We believe a 5-minute frequency is appropriate to meet passenger demand in the downtown DTC corridor. Additional routes could travel via the corridor in the future.

Can’t RIPTA think of a catchier name?
We hope to brand the project using either color, a name or other methods.  Your suggestions are welcome!

What types of vehicles will be used?
RIPTA plans to use buses from our regular bus fleet. However, we are working to modernize our fleet and may introduce new alternatively-fueled vehicles.  It is likely these new buses would be routed along the DTC.

Will other vehicles be able to use the bus lanes?
Emergency vehicles will be able to use DTC bus lanes, as well as any vehicle making the next available right-turn.

How will “no parking” and “no driving” rules in the bus lanes be enforced?
RIPTA and the City of Providence are working together to establish rules for the bus lanes. New legislation or ordinances may be required. We also believe it will be important to conduct a campaign to educate downtown drivers about any restrictions.

Will any dedicated bicycle lanes be added?
Bicycle lanes are proposed for Exchange St. leading to Providence Station, and on certain segments of Dyer and Eddy streets.  For safety reasons, bicycles will not be allowed to use the dedicated bus lanes.

How has Transit Signal Priority (TSP) worked along the R-Line?
Extending green lights for buses along the R-Line reduced the overall travel time by 10%. We believe it will reduce future bus travel times along the shorter DTC corridor between RI Hospital and Providence Station by about 20%.  TSP will also make travel times along the DTC more reliable, which will help create a service more people can depend on.

Will the DTC have special fares?
Some people think short downtown trips should be free, and RIPTA’s new smart card system (coming in late 2018) will allow for this. However, RIPTA has yet to make a decision on DTC fares.

Is RIPTA thinking of coordinating fare payment with the MBTA’s Charlie Card system?
Today, RIPTA allows riders with MBTA monthly passes to board RIPTA buses at no cost. This allows riders the option of taking the bus to work or the MBTA train coming home, depending on the most convenient schedule option for the traveler. Our new smart card system (coming in 2018) will provide additional opportunities for coordinating fares with the MBTA.

What types of information will be displayed at DTC stops?
We will install real-time information displays, similar to those used in Kennedy Plaza today, which show bus schedules as well as changes and disruptions to service. We are also considering the installation of smart kiosks, which could offer additional information about area attractions and events.  If you have any suggestions for information you would like to see or that will make your trip easier, please let us know.

How is the DTC project funded?
There is $17 million available to design and construct the project, including a $13 million federal grant for the project and $4 million from RIPTA and the State of Rhode Island.

How will stops and shelters along the route be maintained?
RIPTA cleans and maintains bus shelters using in-house maintenance staff or private contractors. Unfortunately, with about 5,000 bus stops in our statewide system, we are not able to remove snow at all locations. However, we may try to find local partners to adopt DTC stations for light cleaning and snow removal.

Will non-traditional revenue streams be considered to help generate funds for operations and maintenance? RIPTA hopes to identify revenue generating opportunities to help support DTC operations, such as the use of advertising or offering naming rights at stations.

Will DTC shelters be made of glass, which seems prone to damage?
We are carefully considering maintenance needs as part of our design process and will design shelters and other amenities to be as resistant as possible to damage and vandalism. 

There are already too many street signs in the Jewelry District and other areas? Is there a plan to manage “overlapping” signage along the corridor?  
The DTC team will be developing a signage and wayfinding plan as part of the design process.

Will local police or private security monitor the DTC stops? Private security is utilized only at Kennedy Plaza, where more than 30,000 RIPTA riders pass through each day. At other stops, we rely on the eyes and ears of local law enforcement. However, all RIPTA vehicles do provide on-board security surveillance, and we plan to illuminate all DTC stops with good lighting.


project partners

Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
City of Providence