A commuter train pulls in to T.F. Green in Warwick. Photo from dot.ri.gov.
By Bill Haberman, WPRO News
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says incentive programs put in place to boost ridership to the new commuter train stations in Warwick and Wickford Junction have worked.
“We view it as very successful and its really helped introduce people to the service”, said Charles St. Martin, spokesman for the RI DOT.
The agency said ridership in February was up at both stations, with 100 more people taking the train each day from the station in North Kingstown and approximately 50 more people a day riding the rails from Green Airport.
DOT had offered free parking at both stations through the winter months along with free rides on selected Wednesdays during the same time period.
Planners had warned business at the new stations would be slow, much like when MBTA service was extended to Providence from South Attleboro. Those trains averaged 200 riders a day when the service began in the late 1980s to the current 2000 passengers a day.
‘I would expert a slow growth, but we are encouraged by what we’ve seen this winter”, said St. Martin.