In March, Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick appointed Richard A. Davey as general manager of the Mass. Bay Transportation Authority, which oversees the MBTA subway system and its associated commuter-rail system. The commuter system already stops in Providence and plans call for it to extend to a new intermodal facility at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick by the end of the year. Eventually, the line from Boston will also extend to North Kingstown. Davey recently spoke with Providence Business News about the MBTA’s Rhode Island expansion and what the future could bring.
PBN: Where does the process to expand service to Warwick stand?
DAVEY: That will be just another great piece … for linking Massachusetts, Rhode Island and key airports we have in the area. As I understand it, the R.I. Department of Transportation (DOT) is completing the station sometime this fall, Sept. 1 I think is the approximate deadline, give or take. MBTA has been actively negotiating an extension and operating agreement with DOT. We’re calling it the Pilgrim Partnership II agreement between the commonwealth and Rhode Island to work out the legal details, liability, cost-sharing, etc. for the service that we’ll provide and that agreement is close to being completed.
I know Rhode Island’s DOT obviously has other negotiations ongoing with Amtrak for some access as well, and Amtrak is performing some signal work to accommodate a full schedule. But what we’re looking to do is implement or to launch service hopefully by the end of this year and it would be a modified service. What I mean by modified is three rounds to T.F. Green with the hope that once Amtrak has completed its track and signal work that we could run additional service. And the intent there is to extend current commuter rail service, Boston to Providence, to T.F. Green. So we would be adding no new trains, we would just be adding that stop along currently scheduled trains.