U.S. Navy Blue Angels bring large crowds and traffic jams
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced the return of free train service to the Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show on June 9 and 10 at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown. The train service provides a hassle-free way to get to one of Rhode Island's most heavily attended summer events.
Nearly 8,000 people took advantage of RIDOT's "Trains to Planes" during the past two years when attendance was light compared to busier years when popular national and international jet performance teams have come to Rhode Island. This year's headliner, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, are expected to generate significant crowds and traffic.
"Being stuck in long lines of traffic has been part of the experience for the Air Show, and we're proud to deliver a solution that helps reduce congestion and delays," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. "This event is shaping up to be busier than it has been for the past few years - another great reason to take the train and leave the driving to us."
"We're extremely pleased to be hosting the 2018 Open House Air Show and to be continuing the service and relationship with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation," said Brig. Gen. Arthur Floru, Director, Joint Staff for the Joint Force Headquarters, Rhode Island National Guard. "Our goal is to provide a safe and secure environment, and the 'Trains to Planes' service provides a hassle-free way to visit the Air Show while alleviating heavy traffic near Quonset. We hope that folks take advantage of this service as we open our gates to the community, and show what their Rhode Island National Guard does for the state and nation."
RIDOT will have a robust schedule allowing Air Show attendees a choice among Providence, T.F. Green or Wickford Junction Stations. Early morning and mid-day trains to the show are available, as well as later departures from the show for those who stay to the very end.
Attendees can catch the train at Providence Station, at 100 Gaspee St., Providence; T.F. Green Station, at 700 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick; or Wickford Junction Station, at 1011 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown. Train riders will receive a color-coded hand stamp to indicate their return station, and RIDOT will have staff on-site at the Air Show to direct riders to the proper departure times based on the station they came from.
Free parking is available at T.F. Green and Wickford Junction stations, and the State Offices complex parking lots will have free parking for those leaving from Providence Station. Space is limited. Attendees will be asked to consider making a donation to Hasbro Children's Hospital when they arrive at the Air Show. No restrooms will be available on the trains.
The same rules regarding what attendees can bring into the Air Show are also in effect on the trains. Backpacks, coolers, bicycles and pets are not allowed. Attendees traveling on the train are asked to bring only collapsible camp chairs. More information on items you can and can't bring with you into the Air Show are listed online at www.rhodeislandairshow.com.
Trains to Planes is provided by RIDOT, working in conjunction with the R.I. National Guard, the National Guard Association of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the Quonset Development Corporation, Seaview Railroad, Amtrak, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).
Note: RIDOT and the National Guard will be available to speak with media about this year's Trains to Planes service at Providence Station today at 1 p.m. The Station is located at 100 Gaspee St., Providence.