RIPTA forum to be held at train depot tonight

RIPTA forum to be held at train depot tonight

WOONSOCKET - The Rhode Island Public Transportation Agency wants to hear what the city's travelers think about the future of transit in Woonsocket.

RIPTA will hold a community forum regarding the potential for enhancement and improvement of bus services in the city on Thursday, Oct. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at One Depot Square.

Representatives will discuss, in part, two recommendations made by Mayor Leo Fontaine: that RIPTA expand service in Woonsocket and that the bus stops on Main Street under the train trestle, as well as the stop and idle standing area on Clinton Street, be moved.

"I was told that both ideas are not only possible but very likely," said Fontaine. "We will now seek public input to inform the decisions being made at the end of this year and early next."

The mayor's request seems to have arrived at the right time for the agency, which just completed a Comprehensive Operational Analysis to learn how to improve their services throughout the state. While RIPTA services were being evaluated internally, the city's Main Street Livability Plan, which included representation from RIPTA on the task force, highlighted the need to better address transportation services, particularly bus stops, on Main Street.

"For those many people who participated in the Main Street Livability Plan, the desire to move the RIPTA stops in this area was identified as a priority," said Fontaine.

One objective of the plan is to restore two-way traffic to Main Street, from the Stadium to Depot Square, a project which could benefit from moving the stop. The Clinton Street municipal parking lot has been put forth as a potential new location.

The forum has been organized by RIPTA, NeighborWorks Blackstone Valley, the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor, and the city. It is open to the public.