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TheBostonian

Modest PVD Transit Ideas

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I say modest because I'm not proposing a subway system.

- An underground bus tunnel and terminal similar to the one in Harvard Square. HS is well-served by buses but they are mostly able to avoid the square's surface roads.

- Bus Rapid Transit in phases.

- Phase I: Minor enhancements, such as signal priority and bus lanes, on the top two or three current routes.

- Phase II: Infrastructure enhancements, such as rights of way, short tunnels, etc.

- Phase III: Whatever else it takes to piece together a better system by building upon the above investments.

All this would be constructed for superior bus service and the possibility of adapting light rail to the BRT routes. Zoning should be altered to accommodate the new growth stimulated and made possible by the transit improvements.

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I think RIPTA could eventually run a stable independent rail operation rather than use the MBTA

Woonsocket

Lincoln/Manville

Cumberland

Central Falls

Pawtucket

Providence

Roger Williams

PVD Airport

East Greenwich

Wickford

Kingston

Westerly

Potentially even connecting into New London for Foxwoods and to meet up with the Shoreline East

Exnpanion opportunities could include summer weekend service to he Cape, or prehaps eventual service to Worcester.

With RI being the size that it is and having only one route, it would really only require like 4-5 sets of trains tops. Perhaps even have it completely operated by the MBTA but bearing the RIPTA name and color shceme.

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I would like to see an Urban Streetcar system, much like Portland Oregon's. It would be very easy to put in place as the streetcars run on the same streets and stop for red lights, cross traffic, pedestrians and turning cars just like they would if they were a bus, the difference being that they can only go where the tracks are laid. In Portland, the overhead electric wires are installed by an extension off the streetlamps and the street tree canopy was planted and pruned in such a way that you dont even notice the wires overhead.

Is it just me, or does it seem like RIPTA has a very narrow idea of how it can do its job? It's Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.... not Rhode Island Public Busing Authority...

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Is it just me, or does it seem like RIPTA has a very narrow idea of how it can do its job? It's Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.... not Rhode Island Public Busing Authority...

You're going to get Recchia all worked up about the "Intermodal" transit hub in Kennedy Plaza with talk like that! :lol:

PS: Supposedly the mayor is supposed to make some sort of 'tranit' announcement in tonight's State of the City address.

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I think RIPTA could eventually run a stable independent rail operation rather than use the MBTA

I seem to recall reading a short time ago in the Providence Business News that, assumeing the state builds the new communter rail station it has proposed in East Greenwich, it would purchase a couple trainsets from the MBTA to run trains from Westerly to Providence. Plus there is talk of Cranston wanting to build a station too. I could be wrong.

That would be a step in the right direction, in addition, I too would like to see some form of rail transit from Woonsocket to Providence but considering these rails are owned by the Providence and Worcester Railroad, i dont know how keen they would be to the idea.

Plus...

I think RIPTA could eventually run a stable independent rail operation rather than use the MBTA

I belive the mayor of providence has expressed some interest in building a light rail type system.

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Since I can never seem to remember where it is, could Cotuit be so kind as to re-post his LRT proposed map here in this thread?

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This topic seems to come up a lot. I think for now we need to get the commuter rail up and running and then focus on RIPTA designating "frequent service routes", an idea that someone came up with in the RIPTA thread a while back I think. Put up signs designating them as frequent service, throw in some BRT elements, etc. This would work great on the 99, 11, and the Cranston St. service.

Just a quick rundown of whats out there right now:

commuter rail phase I is Warwick and Wickford Junction

Phase II is in planning and will be Cranston, East Greenwich, and possibly Pawtucket.

RIPTA was trying to plan some kind of BRT to the Pastore Center, and BRT/LRT along the Harbor Junction to the Cranston station (between Park, Elmwood and Wellington) was also being looked at.

RIPTA recently through-routed Pawtucket service on the 71 and 76 with the 99, and then the 99 with the 11. So now you can ride the 76 down Central Ave in Pawtucket all the way to South Providence on the same bus without a transfer, instead of the 3 it would have required before. So RIPTA is making some steps to improve service currently.

And yes, the Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Center IS intermodal because you can walk or ride a bike to it and take a bus. Thats intermodal alright! [rolls eyes]

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Since I can never seem to remember where it is, could Cotuit be so kind as to re-post his LRT proposed map here in this thread?

It's a big ass file, here's a link.

I actually want to do a slightly more realistically feasible version based on some of the subsequent discussion. If the mayor has something groundbreaking to announce tonight, perhaps I'll be inspired.

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And yes, the Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Center IS intermodal because you can walk or ride a bike to it and take a bus. Thats intermodal alright! [rolls eyes]

Don't forget getting there on the back of a crackhead!

For those interested in transit in general, not just in RI/PVD, there's an on-going monorail thread in the Hartford section.

And here's a link to the Super-Mega Providence Transit thread for those people who are new to UP to review past discussion.

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wait till you see how popular the mbta extension is going to be, i hear so many people talking about it

does cape cod have commuter rail that goes to it? i think it stops in plymouth

if ours went right to westerly and kingston thats even closer to our vacation area beaches and newport

it could be a great local tourism tool for those who hate the beach traffic and the weekend summer newport traffic

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does cape cod have commuter rail that goes to it? i think it stops in plymouth

The Cape does not have commuter rail, the closest stop is in Plymouth, but it is the Middleboro line which would actually cross the RR Bridge if the line was to be extended. There is 'discussion' about it, but I don't think NB & FR will let the Cape cut in line. The canal also creates an issue for timetables as the bridge needs to be lowered to allow trains to cross.

The Cape did have Amtrak service ti NYC in the 80s which was quite successful, but was cut due to budget issues. That route served Providence.

if ours went right to westerly and kingston thats even closer to our vacation area beaches and newport

it could be a great local tourism tool for those who hate the beach traffic and the weekend summer newport traffic

If there were frequent, affordable (i.e. not Amtrak) weekend service to Westerly, and good local bus transport to beaches, I'd go all the time during the summer. Creating a reliable shuttle service from Kingston Station to Newport seems to be a no-brainer as well, especially if we see an eastward extension of Shoreline East service from CT.

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Despite the love many Rhode Islander have for thier cars - the new choice of the commuter rail from TFG and Wickford alone will surely change many minds about mass transit. I have little doubt the service will do well once established and word of mouth sets in...

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One challenge to getting people from south of the city out of their cars is the surface connections once they reach Providence. The train station unfortunatly is a little out of the way (I say that from the perspective of the average car loving American Joe, it's located perfectly to car free walk everywhere lil' ole me).

The train station is well located for people who work in the state offices or in Kennedy Plaza. But it's out of the way for people in the Jewelry District, and I know the babies who work at Brown and RISD will think of it as being located somewhere in eastern Connecticut as far as their concerned (and I can call them babies from direct experience).

Hopefully the mayor's proposed transit taskforce will address this issue with some sort of shuttle circulator from the train station.

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It's a big ass file, here's a link.

I actually want to do a slightly more realistically feasible version based on some of the subsequent discussion. If the mayor has something groundbreaking to announce tonight, perhaps I'll be inspired.

This is the first time I've seen this. Quite interesting. Are these lines all proposed for rail, or is BRT and/or trolley included?

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This is the first time I've seen this. Quite interesting. Are these lines all proposed for rail, or is BRT and/or trolley included?

I should have explained what each line represents. The purple/magenta line is the current Amtrak line. It would carry Amtrak and MBTA Commuter Rail. MBTA would stop at stations marked with a T. The other stations would be served by somesort of more rapid service serving stops in Rhode Island up to Woonsocket, and probably a branch as far into Mass as Attleboro, coming probably 10 minutes at peak and 20 off peak.

The blue lines are trolley/streetcars running in various configurations, some would be in seperated medians, some would be in mixed traffic (especially Downtown), and some might be elevated (likely along route 2). The line that crosses the East Side would utilize the abandoned East Side Rail Tunnel.

The yellow lines are a better version of the current RIPTA trolleys. They would be branded buses (not the uncomfortable rickety trolleys we have now), running frequent service between key neighbourhood nodes such as Wayland Square, Olneyville, Wickenden Street, Hope Street... This would be the key way visitors and residents would move about the city. The branding would be bright and attractive to get people to notice the buses and entice people to ride them. I proposed calling them "WaveBus" and using an oversized wave motif on them.

Not on the map is the current bus network. It would remain with obvious changes, such as elimination of routes that would be duplicated by proposed new services. These would be the work horses serving residents and commuters. They would not get the WaveBus branding as they don't need to be attractive to visitors, residents would figure out where they are and how to use them as they do now.

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Does this have any chance of happening?

Short answer, no. :lol:

The yellow lines, my so-called WaveBus is certainly doable, and actually my favourite part of the idea. It's what I would actually use everyday if it existed. We'll see what the mayor's task force comes up with, but connecting the retail districts in the outer neighbourhoods is a definite need and makes good economic development sense. So something like it could happen in the not too distant future.

The purple line, is kind of happening now, but not as extensive as what I proposed on the map. T.F. Green Station will happen (is happening). I have faith that eventually, we'll see Pawtucket station re-opened. It just makes so much sense, I can't see how it won't happen. And the stop at Park Street in Cranston is officially on the DOTs agenda, we'll see if funding and whatnot comes through for it. As far as having rapid service on that corridor, in the 10-20 minute timeframe, I doubt we'll see anything like that for a long time. I think 3-4 trains at the morning and afternoon rushes, maybe 2 midday, one late night, and hopefully somesort of weekend service would be the maximum extent in the near term.

The blue lines, the trolleys are probably the most fanciful at this point. The metro area doesn't yet have the density to support it. There are studies being done for a couple of BRT or LRT corridors, but we'll have to wait and see what comes of those studies.

All of this is why I said I wanted to try to do a more realistic map. There's a good deal of improvement that is actually feasible, the map I posted above though is quite a bit pie-in-the-sky.

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Short answer, no. :lol:

The yellow lines, my so-called WaveBus is certainly doable, and actually my favourite part of the idea. It's what I would actually use everyday if it existed. We'll see what the mayor's task force comes up with, but connecting the retail districts in the outer neighbourhoods is a definite need and makes good economic development sense. So something like it could happen in the not too distant future.

The purple line, is kind of happening now, but not as extensive as what I proposed on the map. T.F. Green Station will happen (is happening). I have faith that eventually, we'll see Pawtucket station re-opened. It just makes so much sense, I can't see how it won't happen. And the stop at Park Street in Cranston is officially on the DOTs agenda, we'll see if funding and whatnot comes through for it. As far as having rapid service on that corridor, in the 10-20 minute timeframe, I doubt we'll see anything like that for a long time. I think 3-4 trains at the morning and afternoon rushes, maybe 2 midday, one late night, and hopefully somesort of weekend service would be the maximum extent in the near term.

The blue lines, the trolleys are probably the most fanciful at this point. The metro area doesn't yet have the density to support it. There are studies being done for a couple of BRT or LRT corridors, but we'll have to wait and see what comes of those studies.

All of this is why I said I wanted to try to do a more realistic map. There's a good deal of improvement that is actually feasible, the map I posted above though is quite a bit pie-in-the-sky.

It's Park Ave! Get it right! ;)

Umm ... other than that, I like your ideas.

Speaking of which, I dunno why the DOT would want to put a RR station there. I remember hearing about this proposal awhile ago. I live on Park, not far from the I-95 corridor, which is (I believe) the site they were considering. Which would make sense, because that's where the train tracks already run. But Park Ave is a real mess, a transportational nightmare stuck in the 1950's.

Park is cluttered, horribly congested, poorly planned with little to no room for expansion (without condemning a great deal of property, that is), and frankly dangerous to navigate. Half the day it's simply impossible to use for travel: if you have to be on Park Ave, fine, but otherwise you'd be wise to avoid it at all costs.

And we're talking about a true suburb here. Adding a train station stop at Park Ave might be a wonderful idea for relieving traffic in downtown Providence, but people are still going to have to drive to get to the Cranston train station. For many people, walking to the station will simply not be an option. Meaning that you have to factor all that extra traffic into the current horror story that is travel on Park Ave.

And I've been looking, but I have yet to hear about any planned DOT improvements to Park Ave, so I have to assume ...

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I would like to see a water taxi that would run up and down the river, between Waterplace Park & India Point Park. There are already a few docks along the route. It wouldn't solve all of our transit problems, but it would certainly be a start.

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I would like to see a water taxi that would run up and down the river, between Waterplace Park & India Point Park. There are already a few docks along the route. It wouldn't solve all of our transit problems, but it would certainly be a start.

I agree. While you're at it, why not have it run to the Promenade as well? It would be a big improvement to that area's connection with downtown. They could even have a Providence Place stop under the mall, though that would require serious aesthetic upgrades to that foreboding space.

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I agree. While you're at it, why not have it run to the Promenade as well? It would be a big improvement to that area's connection with downtown. They could even have a Providence Place stop under the mall, though that would require serious aesthetic upgrades to that foreboding space.

Absolutely. I'd say the RIPTA ferry stop as well, but that's going to Conley's Wharf, and I don't know if a water taxi operator would want to venture into the port.

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I don't think any passenger vessel could clear the Amtrak crossing under the mall, leaving the Promenade cut off from any water taxi system. I could be wrong on that, it might be possible. But I also think the Waterplace bridges would prove to be a tight fit at high tide. I think something could run from the Waterplace Basin to the Hurricane Barrier. But I would imagine any vessel that could navigate under those bridges, would not do well outside the Hurricane Barrier. It would likely have to be canceled too often due to swells in the upper bay.

I could certainly see something running from the Crawford Bridge, out the Hurricane Barrier to India Point then up the Seekonk River toward Pawtucket. And a shuttle running down to Conolly Wharf, over to EP, and down toward Bristol and/or Quonset. The Point Street Bridge could still prove to be problematic at high tide, it would be worth considering a project to raise the Point Street Bridge if that were a problem.

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I don't think any passenger vessel could clear the Amtrak crossing under the mall, leaving the Promenade cut off from any water taxi system. I could be wrong on that, it might be possible. But I also think the Waterplace bridges would prove to be a tight fit at high tide. I think something could run from the Waterplace Basin to the Hurricane Barrier. But I would imagine any vessel that could navigate under those bridges, would not do well outside the Hurricane Barrier. It would likely have to be canceled too often due to swells in the upper bay.

I could certainly see something running from the Crawford Bridge, out the Hurricane Barrier to India Point then up the Seekonk River toward Pawtucket. And a shuttle running down to Conolly Wharf, over to EP, and down toward Bristol and/or Quonset. The Point Street Bridge could still prove to be problematic at high tide, it would be worth considering a project to raise the Point Street Bridge if that were a problem.

I love the water taxi idea. Cotuit, would you consider it for the next, more modest pass at your transportation proposal?

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I don't think any passenger vessel could clear the Amtrak crossing under the mall, leaving the Promenade cut off from any water taxi system. I could be wrong on that, it might be possible. But I also think the Waterplace bridges would prove to be a tight fit at high tide.

How about one of these low-slung ones like they have in Amsterdam?

Of course, I doubt these vessels could handle the harbor in any sort of rougher weather, but maybe they'd worked in the rivers.

PVDJack

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