The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) today announced the launch of a pilot program to bring bus service to businesses at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. This new pilot service will begin January 22, 2019, giving employers and employees in the business park a public transit commuting option. Scott Avedisian, Chief Executive Officer of RIPTA, credited Governor Gina Raimondo’s leadership in providing public transportation to this important job center. “Typically, business parks are a challenge for public transportation because of the acreage they cover and the fact that they are often located away from urban areas,” Avedisian said. “It became clear through our conversations that the people who commute to Quonset needed a public transit option and RIPTA is happy to support economic growth in our state.”
RIPTA is able to offer a free three-month trial period thanks to federal grant money and a 20% match of those funds from the Quonset Development Corporation, Avedisian said. The pilot program consists of two non-stop, express trips from Kennedy Plaza in Providence to Quonset in the morning, and two express trips back to Providence in the afternoon on weekdays. Buses will make eleven stops within the Park, with locations including Electric Boat, Toray Plastics and the Ocean State Job Lot Distribution Center. Avedisian said that other state partners such as the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will support the pilot program by helping get the word out to employers and employees.
“It’s critical that the good-paying jobs we’re creating are accessible for hardworking Rhode Islanders,” said Governor Raimondo. “No one should have to turn down a great job because they don’t have a way to get there. This pilot program is just one step in our efforts to connect Rhode Islanders with economic opportunity through public transit.”
Quonset Business Park is the leading engine of job growth in the state. The Park is home to one of every seven manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island and its Port of Davisville is one of the top 10 auto importers in North America. “The new Quonset Express bus service will make the Business Park more accessible for our 12,000 workers at over 200 companies, and for potential new employees as our tenant companies continue to grow,” said QDC Managing Director Steven J. King. “We are proud to work alongside RIPTA in launching this pilot.”
Up until now, RIPTA service has brought passengers to the western entrance of the approximately 3,100-acre business park via bus Route 14. “This pilot service allows us to
focus on people trying to connect to job opportunities,” Avedisian said. “Our hope is that it will become a reliable commuting option for many employees at Quonset. We will be tracking the ridership so we can evaluate the effectiveness of this pilot service and our Commuter Resource RI team will continue to work with Quonset Development Corporation to explore other programs, — such as our vanpool subsidy program — to give employees even more transportation alternatives.
For more information on this pilot program, visit QXConnects.com.
Commuter Resource Rhode Island is a dedicated staff of experts located at RIPTA headquarters who help individuals and groups explore their commuting options including trip planning. For more information on all of Commuter Resource RI’s services, visit trytransitRI.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.