PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined with Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and officials from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to celebrate a newly completed $6.9-million upgrade of Amtrak’s Providence train station.

Providence Station, which opened in 1986, serves as a gateway to downtown Providence and attracts more than one million Amtrak and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) passengers each year.  A major transportation facility, Providence Station ranks 13th out of 510 stations for ridership for Amtrak.  The station currently handles 38 Amtrak trains and 37 MBTA commuter trains, as well as weekend service.  RIPTA provides frequent bus service to and from the station via Gaspee Street.

In addition to addressing water seepage in the station’s garage, the project’s other improvements include enhanced circulation for all users of the station, as well as the creation of a more inviting civic space, added amenities for bicyclists, updated signage, and landscaping.

“The station is a critical hub and these upgrades make it more efficient, accessible, and a welcoming place for all,” said Senator Reed, who led the effort to secure $5.2 million in federal funds that were utilized for this project.  “Making the station cleaner, brighter, and easier to navigate will improve service for passengers and visitors.  And I will continue pressing Amtrak to expedite additional improvements.”

As the Ranking Member of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, Reed helped direct $1.4 billion for Amtrak in the latest omnibus appropriations bill, of which $19 million is dedicated for investments in the Northeast Corridor.  He says he wants Amtrak to fix broken sidewalks and planters around the station.  

“This station serves as a gateway to Providence for many commuters and travelers,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza.  “I thank Senator Reed and our partners at the state for the work they have done to make these improvements possible, and look forward to increasing the quality of public transportation throughout the city and state.”

“As we mark 30 years since the relocation of the Northeast Corridor and the opening of Providence Station, we are reminded of its importance, not just for Rhode Island, but for the region,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said.  “It has already been proven to be a magnet for development, and we look forward to the next chapter for Providence Station as we develop plans for unifying buses, trains and new development opportunities as part of the transit hub project.”

“For RIPTA, this project afforded us the opportunity of adding a stop for our rapid-service line, called the R-Line, at the station and that has been a great addition,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Chairman of the transit authority’s Board of Directors.  “As a result, our passenger trips at the station have gone up dramatically.  In addition, this key connection makes bus-rail travel easier, and that is so important as the state is in the process of investing further in the train station as a true intermodal hub.”

The work on Providence Train Station was done by J.H. Lynch & Sons.