RIDOT expands free train service to RI National Guard Air Show

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says 1,400 people rode the train to the 2016 Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show on Saturday, with 2,375 people taking the train on Sunday. (WJAR)

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Monday that it will offer more free trains this year to the Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show.

The air show is scheduled for May 20 and 21 at Quonset Point in North Kingstown.

This year's free train service will include roundtrips from Providence and T.F. Green Airport stations and service has been added at Wickford Junction Station for the first time.

There will be three trains to the show from each station, with returning trains running from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Passengers will receive a color-coded hand stamp to indicate their return station, and RIDOT will have staff at the air show to direct riders to the proper departure times based on the station they came from.

Train service was introduced last year as a way to alleviate traffic on highways leading to the show. The RIDOT said about 4,000 people took advantage of it.

"We've heard time and time again about the long traffic delays people experience driving to the Air Show, especially on Routes 4 and 403 and occasionally I-95," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said in a news release. "We know for a fact after speaking with people who took the trains last year, there are many families who don't go to this great event simply because of the traffic. Making better use of our transit system makes it easier for families to get to the show while reducing the delays for those who continue to drive to it."

The RIDOT said free parking is available at T.F. Green and Wickford Junction stations and that the State Offices complex parking lots will have free parking for those departing from Providence Station. Space is limited.

Space on the trains is limited and is first come, first served. The schedule is the same for both days of the air show.

The RIDOT will post signs and use its electronic highway message boards to direct attendees to the parking areas and to indicate if the lots and trains are full. Updates will also be available on the department's social media sites.

Download Trains to Planes schedule.

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