RIPTA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO ROUTES 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 50, 52, 58, 66, 78 and 92
SAFE Analysis Fall Choose Up - Route 52
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will hold five public hearings at the end of April on proposed service changes that would affect ten routes that primarily service parts of Providence, East Providence, Pawtucket, North Providence and North Smithfield. If approved, the changes would be implemented in the fall of 2016 as part of the Transit Authority’s seasonal service adjustments intended to respond to changing demands for service while also optimizing operations consistent with RIPTA’s established service standards.
The proposed changes would affect Routes 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 50, 52, 58, 66, 78 and 92 and include the following modifications: merging routes, eliminating route segments; increasing service frequency. RIPTA is also proposing to reroute Route 92 so that it no longer travels through the East Side Bus Tunnel but instead will reach the East Side of Providence through the city’s Jewelry District, providing better connections to the new nursing education center that is being planned for the former Route I-195 land there. Additionally, proposed changes to Route 34 could extend the route to the Seekonk Square shopping center off Route 6 in Seekonk, providing new access to shopping and jobs.
All input from the public at the hearings will go to RIPTA’s Board of Directors in May and the Board is expected to vote on the proposed changes at its regular monthly meeting on May 16, 2016. A couple of scenarios are proposed for most routes and details are available on www.ripta.com and below.
Summary of Proposed Changes
- Route 32 (East Providence/Wampanoag): Two options are being considered for Routes 32 and 34. One option would be to merge the two routes into a single route with service every 45 minutes, resulting in the elimination of Route 32. The new combined Route 34 would travel to Providence via the Henderson Bridge, the East Side and the tunnel, as part of an East Side trunk route offering combined frequencies of every 11-12 minutes. The second option would be to preserve Routes 32 and 34, but redesign them as circulators within East Providence / Seekonk. Both scenarios could provide new limited access to Seekonk Square off Rte. 6 in Seekonk, MA.
- Route 33 (Riverside): Potential frequency reduction from every 30 minutes to either every 40 or 45 minutes depending on which scenario is selected. However, part of Route 33 would share service with other routes that would provide higher frequency service between Providence and East Providence, aiming for a frequency of roughly every 11 to 14 minutes. Route 33 would no longer serve the western end of Taunton Avenue; this service would instead be provided by either Route 32 or 34 depending on the scenario selected.
- Route 34 (East Providence): Two options are being considered for Routes 32 and 34. One option would be to merge the two routes into a single route with service every 45 minutes, resulting in the elimination of Route 32. This new combined Route 34 would travel to Providence via the Henderson Bridge, the East Side and the Tunnel, as part of an East Side trunk route offering higher frequency via combined routes. With frequencies of every 11-12 minutes. The second option would be to preserve Routes 32 and 34, but redesign them as circulators within East Providence / Seekonk.
- Route 35 (Rumford/Newport Ave.): Service will be rescheduled for better on-time performance and to allow the service to become a part of a new higher-frequency East Side trunk route offering a combined frequency of every 11-14 minutes depending on the scenario selected. Route alignment will not change.
- Route 40 (Butler/Elmgrove): Two options are being considered for Route 40. One option would be to merge Route 40 with Route 92. Under this scenario, every other trip on Route 92 would be extended up Elmgrove Avenue to Butler Hospital, with trips running about every 40 minutes as opposed to current 60 minute frequency. A second alternative would be to maintain Route 40 as a separate service running hourly through the bus tunnel, but reroute via Ives, Wickenden and Brook Streets instead of using Angell and Waterman Streets.
- Route 50 (Douglas Avenue): This route is proposed to merge with Route 52, operating along its current alignment to Shaw’s on Douglas Avenue, with every other trip continuing to Bryant University in North Smithfield. It would continue to operate every 20 minutes, and every other trip would continue to Bryant University.
- Route 58 (Mineral Spring/N. Providence): This route is proposed to be rerouted off Rte. 146 to serve Charles Street, Branch Avenue and Woodward Road before continuing on Mineral Spring towards Smithfield.
- Route 52 (Branch Avenue): This route is proposed to merge with Route 50. Service to Bryant University would be on an extended Route 50; service on Branch Avenue would be on a revised Route 58 alignment, and service on Charles Street would continue to be Route 51, along with the revised Route 58.
- Route 66 (URI/Galilee): Increase in service hours of about 25% to accommodate anticipated increase in ridership due to the opening of a new nursing school in Providence, as well as a new route to Kennedy Plaza via the Jewelry District.
- Route 78 (Beverage Hill/Newport Ave): Service will be rescheduled for better on-time performance and to allow the service to become a part of a new East Side trunk route with higher frequency.
- Route 92 (Federal Hill/East Side): This route is proposed to be rerouted via the Jewelry District and potentially merged with Route 40. Eastbound trips from Kennedy Plaza will travel via Memorial Boulevard to Eddy Street, turn east to Point Street and Wickenden Street, then travel via Wayland Avenue to Wayland Square and continue north via the current Route 40 alignment. The 20 minute frequency currently on Route 92 is maintained, and service to Butler Hospital would increase from 60 to 40 minutes.
Public Hearing Schedule
Public hearings will be held in East Providence and Providence according to the following schedule:
Monday, April 25, 2016
East Providence Senior Center
610 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI 02914
Time: 2 pm - 4pm & 6pm - 8pm
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Rocheambeau Public Library
708 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906
Time: 2pm - 4pm
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
470 Charles St, Providence, RI 02904
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
705 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02907
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Additionally, because ADA service is offered within a ¾ mile corridor of fixed-route service, the Paratransit ADA service that RIPTA provides through the RIde Program may also be reduced wherever there is elimination of a route or segment of a route.
These hearings will be accessible to persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency. RIPTA will provide translation and interpreter services for the deaf and hearing impaired, provided such a request is made at least 72 hours prior to the hearing date. A request for this service can be by calling (401) 784-9500 ex. 242 or 800-745-5555 (RI Relay TDD).
For information on RIPTA services, passengers may call 781-9400 or visit ripta.com.