RIDOT says new bus plans will improve access, but some riders voicing concerns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — RIDOT says to reduce congestion at the current bus hub, Kennedy Plaza, it wants to spread out buses to locations on the edges of the plaza, near the Amtrak station, and on Dyer Street.

The agency says it will improve access to help riders reach their destinations.

But some riders disagree.

“I don’t think it’s fair for the handicapped and the elderly people, because they’ve got to walk so far,” said Karen Booth of Woonsocket. “And then by the time they get over to that spot, they’ll miss the bus.”

“Just adds more confusion for the riders,”; said Mike Millman of Warwick. “Enough’s enough moving.”

Riders like them were among those signing up in record numbers to voice their concerns during a virtual public hearing Wednesday. RIDOT says it’s part of a long public process, but transportation advocates argue the public hasn’t had enough of a say in developing the plan.

“I don’t happen to have any problem with having multiple super-stops in downtown that are connected along that corridor from the train station to the hospital,” said John Flaherty of GrowSmart RI. “But at the end of the day, we need a primary hub that can accommodate all of the transfers in one location.”

He acknowledges that some elements of the plan, like those aiming for better connectivity between Providence and Boston, have potential.

“We want to see the transit system improved,” Flaherty said. “Whether that happens in Kennedy Plaza or whether that happens someplace else, I’m open to alternatives, and there are alternatives.”

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island