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Building on the enthusiastic support for the 2014 bond issue that was predicated on a multi-hub bus system in Providence, RIDOT in partnership with RIPTA, the Governor's office and the City of Providence developed the Multi-Hub Bus plan.
This plan provides important benefits for riders and citizens. First, it spreads out the heavy concentration of buses and pedestrians from the very congested Kennedy Plaza to strategic hubs at the Innovation District, the Providence Train Station and along the edges of Kennedy Plaza. This configuration gives riders access to jobs, educational institutions, entertainment and key intermodal transfers to major northeastern metropolitan areas.
Secondly, it re-establishes the critical link and synergy between trains and buses by siting bus hubs along the side of the station. This plan also works in conjunction with the Providence Station State of Good Repair project that includes upgrades at the station that will provide amenities for bus riders.
Third, it gives Providence and civic leaders the ability to achieve its longstanding vision of a unified public space with pedestrian connections at Kennedy Plaza, Burnside Park and Biltmore Park.
Finally, this plan positions downtown Providence for economic growth. It will function well in response to a downtown that is expanding. This has been the experience of countless other cities and is a model for Rhode Island to follow. The plan has been vetted extensively and amended in response to requests from stakeholders.
The RFP for design was sent out in mid-November, 2020.