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Rhode Island celebrates first day of commuter rail service at Wickford Junction Train Station and Garage

This morning, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined Governor Lincoln Chafee, Senator Jack Reed and Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Michael Lewis at the Wickford Junction Train Station and Garage to help celebrate the opening of Rhode Island's newest commuter rail facility at 1011 Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Jim Langevin, Congressman David Cicilline, MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, North Kingstown Town Council President Liz Dolan, and developer Robert Cioe also were in attendance. The Station will provide weekday Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) service to Warwick, Providence and Boston.

"Commuter service at Wickford Junction Station will make additional transportation possibilities available to a whole new segment of Rhode Islanders," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "Infrastructure projects such as this make Rhode Island more economically competitive, create short-term and long-term jobs, relieve congestion on our heavily traveled roads, and improve quality of life. This is a truly outstanding public-private partnership."

The project is a critical component of South County Commuter Rail expansion, and the service it provides was designed to help alleviate peak hour congestion by getting vehicles off the highway, specifically the Route 4/I-95 corridor.

"This is an historic day and the culmination of years of hard work by many people, including the Cioe family. I am pleased to have secured nearly $33 million in federal funding to bring commuter rail to South County. This new rail line is a smart investment that will help create jobs and put Rhode Island on track to long-term, sustainable economic growth. Even people who don't take the train will benefit from less traffic and better air quality along the busy I-95/Route 1/Route 4 corridor," said Senator Jack Reed.

Through the Department's first design/build contract, the project was completed utilizing one team to design and build the job, shortening the schedule due to concurrent activities.

"Today's opening marks a huge milestone in public transportation in Rhode Island," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "The continuation of commuter rail into North Kingstown should bring some much-needed congestion relief to the heavily traveled South County corridor. In addition, thanks in part to our innovative contracting approach, the project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget."

Passengers can board a train at Wickford Junction inbound to Warwick T.F. Green, Providence and South Station at 4:50 a.m., 5:58 a.m., 6:37 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 9:10 a.m., 1:10 p.m., 3:40 p.m., and 10:10 p.m. Commuters can travel from Wickford to Providence at 6:55 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. Those who wish to travel to Boston can change trains at Providence for South Station at 7:28 p.m. and 8:22 p.m.

Commuters traveling to Wickford Junction from Warwick T.F. Green, Providence and South Station will arrive at the Station at 8:54 a.m., 12:59 p.m., 3:26 p.m., 5:41 p.m., 6:42 p.m., 7:18 p.m., and 9:55 p.m. Passengers can also take a train to Wickford Junction from Warwick T.F. Green and Providence arriving at the Station at 5:43 a.m., 6:17 a.m., and 7:32 a.m.

Back in 1988, RIDOT and the MBTA signed an agreement called the Pilgrim Partnership that initiated Providence to Boston commuter rail service with five round trips per day and approximately 200 riders. To date, the Providence service has 15 round trips per day, as well as weekend service, and approximately 2,000 riders per day. The service at the InterLink at T.F. Green in Warwick has added 20 stops per weekday on the Providence/Stoughton line with approximately 200 riders. Thanks to the addition of Wickford Junction, commuters will now have the opportunity to travel to and from Providence and Boston, with 20 trips per weekday.

Tickets, with varying prices based on destination, will be available for purchase on the train. Credit card ticket machines will be available for use in the future.

The travel fare between Wickford Junction and T.F. Green will cost $2.25 each way ($3 starting July 1, 2012). The cost of travel between Wickford Junction and Providence is $2.50 each way ($3.25 starting July 1, 2012). Travel between Wickford Junction and Boston's South Station will cost $9 each way ($11 starting July 1, 2012).

Tickets are half price for seniors as well as those with physical disabilities. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Monthly passes for unlimited travel between Wickford Junction and Providence (Interzone 3) will cost $89 ($109 starting July 1, 2012). Monthly passes for unlimited travel between Wickford Junction and South Station will cost $280 ($345 starting July 1, 2012). Monthly passes are available for purchase locally at Café La France at the Providence Station or online at https://commerce.mbta.com/program/?prog=monthly. Passes also include travel on all MBTA buses and subways as well as the Inner Harbor Ferry. The new Station will also be linked to Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus service.

More information about ticket prices and schedules can be found the MBTA website: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/?route=PROVSTOU&direction=O&timing=W&RedisplayTime=Redisplay+Time.

The Wickford Junction Train Station and Garage was designed and built through a Public/Private Partnership with RIDOT and the developers of Wickford Junction. Centrally located on Route 102 in North Kingstown, the Station provides easy on-and-off access to Route 4.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant facility boasts many features and amenities to make commuting via MBTA train affordable, enjoyable and hassle-free. Some of the features include a 1,100-space parking garage, with $4.00 per day parking; an 848-foot platform with seating and covered areas to protect travelers in inclement weather; heated restrooms and indoor waiting area with seating; an in-station coffee and snack shop; charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles; and covered bicycle storage.

Construction for the project began in September 2010 and was completed in March 2012 through a $25 million contract with Manafort Brothers, Inc.

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Contact: Heidi Gudmundson 401-222-1362, Ext. 4009

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation

Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov

Release date: 04-23-2012

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