RI wants express commuter trains to Boston
Could getting from Providence to Boston be made quicker?
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is hoping to get the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to agree to more service -- and faster.
“I think it’ll make a good amount of difference,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
Alviti said a non-stop ride from Providence to South Station will trim 15 to 20 minutes off what is now a 70-minute trip.
But it's unlikely the faster service would benefit the typical commuter. To reduce the added cost of non-stop service, it would likely only be offered during off-peak hours, which is not good news for workers.
But many said it would be helpful for visitors and day trippers.
Regular T-riders like the idea of express service.
“It would be a lot easier for people coming to Boston or to Providence,” said one woman getting on the T to Boston.
Another man shared similar sentiments.
“A lot of people work in both towns” said Steven Richardson, who was also getting on the T to Boston.
It's too early to know how much more non-stop service would cost, but it should be cheaper than Amtrak, which charges a $12 premium for Acela express service out of Providence.
Alviti said it's worth the effort to try and make the new T commutes happen.
“But a very low-level of effort and funding could yield results for that,” said Alviti.
MBTA doesn't show enthusiasm toward the idea, saying a new express-only service out of Providence would clog an already congested South Station.
But the T, at least, hasn't said no.