July 17, 2006

MBTA comes to Warwick

Don Roach

From the Projo Blog:

State, local and federal officials are scheduled to break ground at 1 p.m. today on a new intermodal train station next to T.F. Green Airport. The $222.5-million facility, including a parking garage and car rental businesses, will take up 1.5 million square feet and rise six stories. It will connect travelers to the airport through a 1,250-foot elevated skywalk over Post Road. The station will extend Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter service with its scheduled opening in 2009, but Amtrak trains providing service to the Northeast corridor will bypass the station because the state cannot afford to provide the additional tracks Amtrak requires.

Anyone else hear the suck action coming from Rhode Island and going into Massachusetts? As a Rhode Islander who found better opportunities in Mass than in RI, I'm not sure how much I like this move. Am I way off base?

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I don't know Don, I am of the opinion that this could be a boon for the state's economy.

With Wickford junction coming on line as well, it will take cars off the road, encourage businesses to locate in Providence, and maybe even bring some "reverse commuters" (from Mass) into the state.

As someone who grew up in RI, in addition to the San Francisco and New York areas, I have seen the positives of having a mass transit light rail system in a metropolitan region stand in stark contrast to RI's car-based system...

While I am sure that more Mass workers will move into the state, increasing property values, businesses are sure to come in as well...

While I understand your concerns, I am fairly optimistic. Now if we could just get some business-friendly officials in state government!

Posted by: johnb at July 17, 2006 9:13 PM

I think this is an excellent move. T.F. Green is very well-designed and hsot to the major carriers in the the US but has, at least until now, remained a distinctly regional airport, catering to local business travel and vacationers out of Providence, EG, Warwick, Cranston, etc. Now, with an efficient connection to Boston, ten bets that Green takes off and we see another expansion within the next few years. Don't forget that Southwest, far and away the most successful American airline of the 21st century does not, repeat does NOT fly out of Logan. Really excited about this news and extrememly greatful to Chafee for aiding in the project.

Posted by: Adam Smith at July 18, 2006 12:20 AM

Well, seems I did not take into consideration many different aspects of this move.

Sometimes when I take later trains I do see folks from Mass getting off trains that I am about to get on so there is something to Mass people coming to RI.

I also think the TF Green implication is huge. Right now a ticket to Boston from Providence is $6.00 one way, and if airlines are able to capitalize on that then TF Green will become a very attractive alternative to Logan, especially for people living in Providence and along the commuter rail/T line services.

Posted by: don roach at July 18, 2006 7:40 AM