In 2014, the residents of Rhode Island voted to approve the $35 million bond to pay for “enhancements and renovations to mass transit hub infrastructure throughout the state,” which was expected to include the Providence train station. Currently there hasn’t been much movement on the expected renovations for the state’s infrastructure. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporations Board has recently hired Jones Lang Lasalle, a Chicago-based real estate agency, to promote the project and get private investment. Many are hoping that the funds are quickly used on the increasingly dangerous bus system.
The long-awaited transportation hub is expected to be connected to the train station and act a stop for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses as well. There is also talk of having another hub added. Currently over 71,000 people use RIPTA buses each day. With such a large amount of people relying on buses, safety has increasingly become a concern.
Current Safety Issues
RIPTA is starting to focus on safety after some recent crashes occurred this past month. Some of the new safety features would include implementing newer buses with quicker breaks and phasing out older buses. The organization is also going to be re-certifying the 500 plus drivers in new safety training. One crash was the result of a driver suffering from a medical condition. Drivers are currently only required to have a medical exam when they are first hired, but RIPTA plans on requiring the exams each year for the drivers.