The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced that effective today, it will assume maintenance and operations of the Wickford Junction commuter rail station in North Kingstown. The move will not only streamline facility operations but also achieve an estimated 10-year savings of $3.4 million. Maintenance and operations of the station were previously managed by WJ Management LLC.
"RIDOT is quickly putting its house back in order at the speed of business," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "At Wickford Junction, we are reducing the cost of operations and using the savings to provide better transit service to the citizens of Rhode Island."
According to Census figures, Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country; yet its transit use is well below the national average.
Wickford Junction, which opened in 2012, serves as a transportation center for South County, offering plentiful, free commuter parking. Through an agreement with RIDOT, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) trains offer 10 round trips on weekdays. The RIPTA No. 65X bus, which runs from Providence to Wakefield, also stops at the station. RIDOT is also working with RIPTA seeking to expand service at the station to T.F. Green and Providence. The savings here will be used to offset these costs.
Other amenities offered at Wickford Junction include restrooms and free electric vehicle charging stations. In addition, bids were opened this week on a $372,500 project to construct an entryway that will provide new direct access to the station from Route 102, rather than the existing configuration through the Wickford Junction shopping complex. The contract will also provide for improved bus passenger facilities. RIDOT expects to issue a notice to proceed for the intersection work by the end of next week.
Contact: Charles St. Martin - 401-222-1362, Ext. 4007