Downtown Transit Connector

Overview

The RIPTA Downtown Transit Connector (DTC) will be an “enhanced bus” that provides our riders with improved service frequency, reliability, and design features. The project will create substantial and attractive transit stops for passengers, and will incorporate features that give priority to transit vehicles, enhance local placemaking, and improve pedestrian accessibility. The following is a description of key design features that will be incorporated into the DTC corridor.

Shelter Design & Passenger Amenities

DTC stops will include high-quality shelters with seating, real-time bus information, lighting, and digital schedule and wayfinding information. Each stop has been designed with placemaking in mind, using special pavement treatments, attractive materials, and other features to help integrate with the surrounding neighborhood. All DTC stops will be fully accessible and will include features to improve the pedestrian experience, such as curb extensions or “bulb-outs” for bus boarding, safe and convenient crosswalks, and pavement markings and patterns to delineate bus stops.

Roadway Design

Streets in the corridor will be modified to better accommodate high-frequency bus service, while maintaining traffic flow and safety for all modes. The DTC corridor will incorporate proven measures for improving the speed and reliability of transit, providing safe and convenient pedestrian access, and minimizing conflicts between DTC buses and pedestrians, especially at intersections and stations. Design features will include the extension of green traffic signals for buses (and emergency vehicles) along the corridor, special signal phases allowing buses to “jump” the traffic queue and move ahead of regular traffic, and dedicated bus lanes. In some areas, on-street parking spaces will be eliminated.

Bicycling Infrastructure

The City of Providence is launching a bike share program in 2018 and will locate bike stations along the DTC corridor. Bike lanes will also be added to sections of Exchange Street (north of Kennedy Plaza) and possibly to certain segments in the Jewelry District.

Frequent and Reliable Bus Service

RIPTA plans to extend 8 existing routes along the DTC corridor, meaning a bus will arrive every 5 minutes (or better) on weekdays going both north to Providence Station and south to RI Hospital. Routes proposed to operate in the corridor include:

  • 3 Warwick Ave
  • 6 Prairie Ave/Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • 50 Douglas Avenue/Bryant University
  • 51 Charles St/CCRI
  • 55 Admiral/PC
  • 58 Mineral Spring/N. Providence
  • 62 URI/Providence Station
  • 72 Weeden St/Central Falls

Routes 1 and 92 will also serve parts of the corridor.

Bus trips to the Hospital and Jewelry Districts will more than double by 2019 and, with bus transfers at Kennedy Plaza eliminated for many workers in these areas. Six colleges and universities will also have direct connections to Providence’s innovation and medical districts: URI, Bryant, PC, RIC and CCRI campuses in Lincoln and Providence.

Branding/Shelter Design

RIPTA is developing a unique design for shelters at DTC stops, creating a recognizable “look“ and identity for the DTC. This effort will include canopies and seating, attractive materials, a consistent color theme, and distinctive signage and lighting.

project partners


Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
City of Providence