Thursday, April 5, 2012
Reed Tours Wickford Junction Train Station, Commuter Rail Service Set to Begin April 23
NORTH KINGSTON, RI – The long-awaited Wickford Junction Train Station is on track to begin commuter rail service starting April 23.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who over the years secured nearly $33 million in federal funding for the new Wickford Junction Train Station, today toured the facility, which will offer commuters 20 train trips per day to Warwick, Providence, and Boston and will also be linked to RIPTA bus service.
In an effort to help reduce transportation costs for Rhode Island commuters and relieve highway congestion, Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, authored legislation to construct a new commuter rail station at Wickford Junction and secured $32.9 million for the South County Commuter Rail project, which will provide commuter rail service for an estimated 1,400 commuters. This follows Reed’s successful efforts to secure millions in federal funds to improve freight rail service in Rhode Island, particularly at Quonset Point-Davisville.
During today’s tour, Reed announced that U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will travel to Rhode Island on April 23rd for the grand opening of the Wickford Junction Commuter Rail service.
“This new station will expand commuter rail service to South County, providing new transportation options for thousands of Rhode Islanders at a time when gas prices are rising,” said Reed. “By getting more commuters off the highways and on to mass transit, this project will help relieve congestion along the I-95/Route1/Route 4 corridor, and improve air quality.”
Reed is also working in Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that could provide $500 million for Rhode Island’s roads, bridges, transit, and other infrastructure projects including rail. Last month, a long-term transportation bill cleared the Senate 74-22, with support from about half of Senate Republicans. Unfortunately, House Republicans refused to take a vote on this bill and instead passed a three month short-term extension for transportation funding.