February 1, 2023
Transit Center is OPEN!
It’s finally happening with the ribbon cutting held on Monday Jan. 23rd! There are so many people that have helped to make this a reality, but I would like to let you know how this all started…
21 years ago the Pawtucket Foundation, under the direction of its first executive director Rich Davis, took on the project of having a Train stop return to Pawtucket. It was the board of the Pawtucket Foundation, especially board members Vin Ceglie, Michael Horan, Morris Nathanson, Jack Partridge and Dan Sullivan who drove this charge. At that period in time, the thought was to save the historic Pawtucket/Central falls rail station. Ultimately this was impossible because of the curved track and the Providence & Worcester Rail yard site was chosen instead.
Current executive director, Jan Brodie, has been involved in the train station and bus hub project since she started at the Foundation in 2015. Prior to 2016 the project had not gotten much traction. Through the work of the cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, RIDOT and RIPTA and our Federal Delegation, we were awarded a federal Tiger Grant which was the catalyst for funding a full transit center at its current location off of Pine Street. The Foundation has hosted monthly team meetings for six years, which have included RIDOT, RIPTA, Pawtucket DPW, Pawtucket and Central Falls Planning Departments and Statewide Planning, to insure communication between agencies and municipalities and to insure that the cities are ready for the impacts of the transit center. This has included re-zoning a 100+ acre area to create an overly district that has been branded as Conant Thread. The past six years have seen many hundreds of residential units built, permitted or planned. It has seen many millions of dollars invested by the cities and the state to improve the streets, plantings, and signage around the new station. The Foundation has worked with existing businesses and residents to keep them informed and comfortable with the changes that have been made and are still to come.
The Pawtucket Foundation has consistently been involved in this project through the years, knowing the positive impact it will have on driving economic development in both Pawtucket and Central Falls. And the possibilities and value it brings to the residents of both cities.
Today the Train schedule is online and ready to ride at 300 Pine Street.