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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Commuters will be able hop on trains to Providence and Boston at the new Wickford Junction Station starting April 23, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Thursday.
The cost of riding the train from North Kingstown and Rhode Island’s other two commuter rail stations will rise roughly 29 percent under fare hikes approved by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Board Wednesday.
When service from Wickford Junction begins in just over two weeks, the one-way fare to South Station will be $9 with the price of that ticket rising to $11 July 1 under the new fare schedule.
Getting from Wickford Junction to T.F. Green on the train will cost $2.25 when the service starts and $3 in July, while a Wickford-to-Providence ticket will start at $2.50 and rise to $3.25 this summer.
The cost of a one-way ticket from Providence to Boston’s South Station will rise from $7.75 to $10 starting in July.
And a ride from T.F. Green Station in Warwick to South Station will increase from $8.25 to $10.50.
The fare hikes are designed to close a $160 million budget deficit while avoiding earlier proposed service cuts that would have eliminated all weekend commuter rail service to Providence.
The initial Wickford Junction schedule will mirror the current service at T.F. Green, with 10 weekday trains originating from North Kingstown and 10 terminating there each day. Like T.F. Green, there is no planned weekend service to Wickford Junction.
Of the 20 total Wickford Junction trains each day that travel to and from Providence, 15 continue to or from Boston.
The following schedule will start April 23:
The Wickford Junction Station, which includes a 1,100-car parking garage, cost $25 million to build with a total project cost including land acquisition, design and administration of $58 million.
“"Expanded commuter rail service to Wickford is just over two weeks away," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis in a news release." This additional service has been highly anticipated and should help alleviate congestion on our roadways."