The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is looking forward to welcoming riders back to Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, January 17, 2015, when the downtown transit hub reopens after several months of renovation work to make it safer and more aesthetically appealing.
RIPTA staffers will be at the plaza from about 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to thank our passengers for their patience during construction. They will be handing out promotional bags with the RIPTA logo and area radio stations will also be there for the opening.
LaSalle Bakery in Providence will be providing hot chocolate and pastries to the first 200 people to visit the plaza Saturday morning. Also, Zipcar will be at the plaza to explain the transportation options they can offer in the Providence area and beyond.
The opening of the plaza coincides with RIPTA’s winter service modifications, so additional RIPTA staff will be there to distribute maps with the new bus stop locations and information on route changes. RIPTA makes regular service adjustments three times a year in response to seasonal changes and/or passenger use.
Most routes servicing Kennedy Plaza have been rescheduled and many routes have been-regrouped at new stops. Please consult new timetables that are available at the plaza or on RIPTA’s website: www.ripta.com.
The renovated plaza is a more pedestrian-friendly area, with RIPTA eliminating two bus narrow lanes that cut through the area. Now all vehicular traffic will be on the perimeter of the plaza, making it a contiguous pedestrian area. Improved passenger amenities include new bus shelters, trees, new lighting, and large, lighted “lollipop” signs which will make it easier for passengers to find their stops.
Peter Pan and Greyhound buses will have berths at Kennedy Plaza and will be running trips from there. More detailed information on their routes can be obtained from the individual carriers.
The project, which is part of other downtown enhancement projects for the City of Providence, was funded by approximately $1.7 million in bond money from the city and about $700,000 from RIPTA.
“An estimated 40,000 people pass through the plaza on a daily basis and the goal was to make it a safer and more appealing place,” said Barbara Polichetti, Director of Public Affairs for RIPTA. “RIPTA and the City of Providence worked together to improve this public space,” she said. “And while we have many people to thank for their efforts, I think the biggest ‘thank you’ is to our passengers who dealt with temporary bus stop locations and the loss of access to the plaza since July.
“We really hope they enjoy the new space.”
For more information on bus stop locations, schedules and route changes, please visit www.ripta.com.