R-Line

The R-Line is RIPTA’s first Rapid Bus Route scheduled to begin service in May of 2014.  Using a mix of branding, operational improvements, and traffic improvements, RIPTA’s R-Line will replace congested local service on Route 11 – Broad St and Route 99 – North Main St, the two highest ridership routes in Rhode Island with more than 10,500 passenger trips per day.

 

Elements of the R-Line include:

  • Line and bus stop branding
  • High-frequency, fast, limited stop service at key passenger destinations
  • Traffic signal improvements for improved travel times and schedule reliability.
  • Improved passenger amenities, including real-time bus information, to create a safer, more comfortable experience for passengers while waiting for RIPTA’s R-Line
  • Roadway improvements where appropriate, including clearly designated bus stop lanes and Intersection improvements to increase safety and minimize conflicts

The estimated cost for these improvements is $6m, and is funded primarily through a HUD Community Planning Challenge Grant and ARRA stimulus funds. 

For more information, please contact Greg Nordin, Transit Planner at RIPTA at gnordin@ripta.com or 784-9500 x237.

Updates

January 2014

To view the most recent presentation from the January 2014 Board Meeting, click here.

The R-Line is expected to begin service in June 2014.

Construction on Transit Signal Prioritization (TSP) is complete and will be fully operational by March 2014.  This technology will allow buses to operate through signalized intersections with priority over general traffic and will result in significant time-savings for passenger trips.

RIPTA has finalized design for shelters and passenger amenities, and installation of this product will begin in March 2014.  Shelters will be installed at 25 locations along the route to allow passengers to wait in greater comfort for their R-Line bus.

Art will be incorporated into many of the shelters along this route, a large majority of which is designed and fabricated by Rhode Islanders.

Scheduling changes will occur in June 2014, once passenger amenities are installed and TSP service is functional.  Passengers can expect improved service on evenings and weekends while maintaining 10 minute service during the day and peak hours.  Final schedule information will be released as it is finalized.

Buses will be painted in the upcoming months to reflect the R-Line livery that is in development.  Expect these changes to go into effect for the opening of the R-Line.

Real-time data displays incorporated into each bus stop will no longer be included as part of the initial implementation of the R-Line due to budgetary constraints.  Expect these improvements to occur as a separate project in the future.

February 2013

RIPTA has recently begun construction on Transit Signal Prioritization (TSP), a technology which will provide buses with low-level priority at specially-equipped intersections to allow them to travel more quickly.  This technology will also result in the synchronized timing of traffic signals in the impacted corridors.  TSP is being implemented along Broad St. and North Main St. in Providence and along Main St. in Pawtucket.  Construction of this project is estimated to be completed by June 2013 with the whole system operational by October 2013.

R-Line routing has also been finalized.  Routing and stops can be viewed here. While following the general routing of Route 11 and Route 99, the R-Line differs in its service of downtown Pawtucket and downtown Providence.  Downtown Providence will see improvements as the R-Line will directly connect Kennedy Plaza and the Amtrak station.  With the start of the R-Line set for January 2014, services on Route 11 and Route 99 will be discontinued at that time.

Shelters and passenger amenities are currently in development for the R-Line.  RIPTA will award a shelter manufacturing contract in the next couple months to develop shelters at each of the selected locations.  These shelters will integrate local art into the structure to coincide with the city of Providence’s efforts to highlight the unique character of the neighborhoods that are served by the R-Line.  RIPTA will also install additional benches, trash cans, bike racks, and informational kiosks to complement the R-Line shelters.  Shelter information will be provided as it is made available. 

May 2012

RIPTA has completed two public meetings in conjunction with the City of Providence to review the Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities/Rapid Bus project.  At these meetings, RIPTA unveiled its Rapid Bus service, the R-Line.

The R-Line is a proposed limited-stop service that will operate over the current routing of Route 99 – North Main Street and Route 11 – Broad Street with the addition of service to the Providence Amtrak Station.  The R-Line will simplify the passenger experience by only serving the Main Street branch in Pawtucket, while Route 99 will continue to serve the Pawtucket Avenue branch.  As part of the simplification of the routing of the R-Line, RIPTA is currently exploring routing options through downtown Pawtucket.

The R-Line is currently proposed to operate in addition to reduced service on Route 99 and Route 11.  These two local routes will continue to serve all bus stops on route, while the R-Line will only serve R-Line stations.  As part of R-Line implementation, all local bus stops on Route 99 and Route 11 are being evaluated to make improvements and reduce unnecessary bus stops as needed. RIPTA is proposing the following changes to Route 99 and Route 11:

  1. Removal of 36 underused, unsafe, and redundant bus stops
  2. Relocation of 26 unsafe bus stops
  3. Addition of 2 new bus stops
  4. Roadway improvements that will allow RIPTA to better access bus stops
  5. Improved signage at all remaining bus stops (116) to increase visibility and reduce conflicts with on-street parking

RIPTA has identified 21 locations for R-Line Stations that will serve key destinations along the route. RIPTA and the City of Providence have recently begun working with a consultant to design R-Line stations.