The Providence Downtown Transit Connector

The Providence Downtown Transit Connector

Project Overview

The Providence DTC Project was originally envisioned as a downtown streetcar system. Over the years of study and preliminary design, the concept was changed to a bus project for a variety of reasons. Something as simple as a bus can avoid a traffic problem where a streetcar cannot. The bus system was also less expensive than the streetcar system, including requiring less infrastructure improvements to the downtown Providence area. This Project included the purchase of six (6) new buses, rebranding for an additional 29 buses, and opportunities to enhance RIPTA service using signal priority for buses on dedicated bus lanes. The DTC serves six (6) stops in four (4) downtown Providence neighborhoods: the Hospital District, Jewelry District, Down City, and Capital Center. Service is operated by regular RIPTA routes that are extended to run along the corridor via Eddy Street, Dorrance Street, Kennedy Plaza, and Exchange Street. Routes 51, 54, 55, 58, and 72 were extended south beyond Kennedy Plaza to Rhode Island (RI) Hospital, and Routes 3 and 62 were extended north to Providence Station. Stops are located at: 1) RI Hospital; 2) Eddy Street at South Street Landing; 3) Dyer Street at Ship Street; 4) Dorrance Street at Weybosett/Pine; 5) Kennedy Plaza; and 6) Providence Station. Service in the corridor only stops at these stations. The stops include shelters, real-time bus arrival signage, and other passenger amenities. Designated bus and bike lanes were added along certain segments and green lights were extended for oncoming buses to help the speed and reliability of transit. This Project included $13 million in federal funds and $4 million in local matching funds.

Envision’s oversight of the RIPTA Providence Downtown Transit Connector project improvements ranged from the Planning, Preliminary Engineering, and Final Design phases, and providing oversight of the multi-seasonal construction phase. For this project, Envision provided Program Management Oversight services, Task Order Management, QA/QC services, Vehicle Engineering and Buy America services.

Project Information

Owner Federal Transit Administration (FTA) - Region I / Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)
Project Start 2014
Project End Present
Project Cost $17M
Envision’s Role
  • Program Management
  • Task Order Management
  • QA/QC Services
  • Vehicle Engineering
  • Buy America