Is Providence’s I-195 Redevelopment District the right location for a new bus hub and transit center?

PROVIDENCE'S I-195 Redevelopment District Commission on Feb. 26 voted to allow the R.I. Public Transit Authority to consider relocating its transit center to Parcel 35. Pictured, riders board a RIPTA bus in Kennedy Plaza. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

Providence’s I-195 Redevelopment District Commission on Feb. 26 voted to give the R.I. Public Transit Authority until Oct. 1 to decide whether to relocate its transit center to land there.

The state and RIPTA previously were considering a five-story indoor bus depot on Dorrance Street. That project was going to include RIPTA administrative offices, a retail space, residential units and parking.

On Jan. 30, RIPTA’s board approved a $16.9 million contract with Next Wave Partners to begin the first phase of designing and building the new transit center.

RIPTA and Next Wave have said they plan to consider a mixed-use development for the hub, with a first-floor retail space, residential units on upper floors and amenities such as temperature-controlled passenger areas and bike storage.

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The new transit center would significantly ease bus congestion in and around Kennedy Plaza, with most of the buses being routed through the new transit center.

Is Providence’s I-195 Redevelopment District the right location for a new bus hub and transit center?

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