Vote Today on Commuter Rail Link to Providence Airport

The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, which operates Boston metro area commuter rail, is set to vote on extending commuter service to T.F. Green Airport. Tentative schedules show a travel time from Boston’s South Station to the airport of one hour and fifteen minutes, which is dependent on skipping some local stops on the route. The Providence/Stoughton line has consistently ranked as the MBTA’s busiest commuter line, with 2000 people boarding daily in Providence alone.

The new T.F. Station would be, according to officials, the closest a rail line comes to an airport in the country. A 1500-foot moving sidewalk would take passengers from the station to the ticket counters, which is currently under construction and will be completed next year.

The proposed extension would go beyond the airport to a total of 20 miles of additional service, terminating in North Kingston, Rhode Island. Rhode Island is investing millions to upgrade the Amtrak-owned tracks, construct two new stations, parking garages, a rental car facility, and the moving sidewalk. The state will also pay Amtrak for the use of the tracks.

Massachusetts won’t pay any of the costs, but will pay operating expenses on the line. They keep all ticket revenue on service into Rhode Island, while Rhode Island picks up the bill for construction and rail cars.

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