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The new Pawtucket-Central Falls Transit Center opened for service on January 23, 2023. It is the culmination of more than a decade of work from a collaboration of state and local officials, transit, bus transit, and railroad stakeholders. will provide a robust combination of commuter rail and bus service in an emerging area of transit-oriented economic development in Pawtucket and Central Falls. It will allow riders to switch modes of transportation easily between commuter rail operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and RIPTA’s statewide bus network – making it easier and more convenient for many Rhode Islanders traveling to and from Boston and other destinations in Massachusetts.
The opening of the Pawtucket-Central Falls Transit Center is the culmination of years of planning and completion of a $63 million design-build project that RIDOT began in 2018. More than two-thirds of the project cost, approximately $43 million, was paid for with federal funds. This includes a $13.1 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and a $7 million Bus and Facilities Grant, both from the FTA, as well as $20 million in funding as part of the FTA’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. In each instance, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation was instrumental in guiding these funds to Rhode Island.
A major benefit of this project will be transit-oriented development in this area of Pawtucket-Central Falls. The Commuter Rail Station will strengthen existing efforts to spur development in this area of Pawtucket-Central Falls. Not only will the station, intermodal connectivity and pedestrian access help catalyze transit-oriented development, but it will also set the stage for even higher levels of future transit mode share for both residents and workers at this site.
The additional commuter rail station at Pawtucket-Central Falls will supplement three other stations (Providence, T.F. Green and Wickford Junction) serviced by the MBTA, with numerous stops in Massachusetts on the route to South Station in Boston. MBTA will make 40 weekday stops and 18 weekend stops at the new Transit Center. The one-way fare between Pawtucket and Providence is $2.75 and $3.25 each way between Pawtucket and T.F. Green Station. The cost of a train ticket to Boston is $12.25 each way.
In addition to the rail service, the new bus hub built adjacent to the train station will serve the many bus commuters in the Pawtucket, Central Falls and greater Blackstone Valley area with RIPTA’s 1, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 80, QX and the R-Line stopping at the transit center starting on January 23. The cash fare is $2 per boarding or $2 for one hour of unlimited rides when paying with Wave, RIPTA’s smart fare collection system. RIPTA allows riders with MBTA monthly passes to board RIPTA buses at no cost. This allows riders the option of picking the most convenient schedule options for the traveler.
The new Transit Center opened on January 23 and has been very well received. Get schedule and fare information at www.RideTheRailsRI.com. Limited work may take place as we continue to install miscellaneous signage and prepare for the installation of real-time bus scheduling monitors. RIDOT is developing a punch list and work is expected to continue through spring.