The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will implement winter service changes effective January 18, 2020. This round of changes includes some key improvements for our passengers. Route 72 (Weeden/Central Falls), which is the third busiest route in our system, will now operate at a higher frequency and for longer hours. Also, several routes will now be funneled through our new Downtown Transit Connector (DTC), which is a high-frequency transit corridor running from the Hospital District in Providence to the Providence Train Station. Extending existing routes through he corridor creates better downtown connections for some passengers, giving them direct service to key destinations such as the Rhode Island Hospital and the Train Station. RIPTA makes regular service adjustments several times a year in response to seasonal changes and passenger use, and the transit authority is excited to bring these latest improvements to our passengers.
Improved Frequency and Better Connections Via Downtown Corridor
Beginning Saturday, January 18th, Routes 3, 4, 51, 54, 58, 62 and 72 will be routed through the DTC in Providence. For passengers traveling into the city from the north on Routes 51, 54, 58 and 72, this means that their routes will now connect directly to Rhode Island Hospital and the nearby Jewelry District. Passengers coming into Providence from the south on Routes 3, 4, and 62 will have a direct connection to the train station since those routes have been extended northward and will no longer end at Kennedy Plaza. Route 72 will also see an increase in frequency and service hours, with frequency being increased to every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. Service on that route will also operate later into the evening with trips running until 11:00pm on weekdays, and 10:30pm on Saturdays. Weekday frequency will also increase on Routes 3 and 4 during the midday, and hours of service on those two routes will increase as well. Those two routes combined will now offer a service frequency of every 20 minutes.
The seven routes traveling the DTC, will create high-frequency bus service (every 5 minutes in each direction), between the Providence Amtrak/MBTA Station and the Hospital District in Upper South Providence. There are six paired stops along the corridor which incorporates Eddy
Street, Dorrance Street, Kennedy Plaza and Exchange Street. Part of the route will include the state’s first “bus only” travel lanes which will enable RIPTA buses to travel separate from other vehicle traffic. Some of the stops will feature larger, new shelters that include enhanced passenger amenities such as digital display boards with real-time bus arrival times. It is important for passengers to note that while bus service begins running along the DTC on January 18, the shelter construction is not complete. As a result, passengers need to use existing stops along the corridor. Shelter work is expected to be completed in the spring. For more detailed information on the DTC project, please visit https://www.ripta-dtc.com/.
Bus Stop Changes and other Winter Service Changes
To accommodate the new DTC service and also to optimize our system performance, RIPTA is reassigning 12 bus stop assignments at Kennedy Plaza. Routes 3, 4, 6, 17, 18, 19, 31, 51, 54, 55, 62, and 72 will be assigned to different stops within the Plaza. There is signage in the Plaza, pocket maps for passengers, and staff has also been at the Plaza conducting informational outreach. The information is also available on line at https://bit.ly/2Ttu4ro. This round of seasonal service changes also includes minor or moderate adjustments to some other routes. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check new schedules for how these service changes may affect them. They may also pick up the leaflet entitled Winter Service Changes Effective January 18, 2020 that is available at Kennedy Plaza; the leaflet is also viewable online at ripta.com.
The following routes will be affected by the winter service changes:
3 Oakland Beach
4 Warwick Ave.
6 Prairie/Roger Williams Park Zoo
8X Jefferson Blvd.
18 Union Avenue
20 Elmwood Ave./T.F. Green Airport
31 Cranston Street
34 East Providence/Seekonk Square
51 Charles/CCRI/Twin River
55 Admiral/Providence College
58 Mineral Spring/North Providence
61X Tiverton/East Bay Express
62 URI/Providence Station
72 Weeden/Central Falls
87 Fairmount/Walnut Hill
95X Westerly Park-n-Ride
203 Narragansett Flex