Quonset companies enjoy reliable transportation infrastructure that helps keep their businesses moving. With 14 miles of freight rail line extending through the park, access to the Port of Davisville, Rhode Island’s only public port, and convenient access to I-95, Quonset companies have many options for transporting their goods.
Our newest transportation infrastructure will now move people throughout the park along with the many goods flowing across our borders. Quonset is excited to announce that a significant expansion of convenient public transportation for our nearly 12,000 workers – and others – will begin at the end of this month, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA). Quonset Express, a new one-year pilot bus service, will consist of two morning and two afternoon weekday-only bus trips to Quonset companies from Kennedy Plaza in Providence. Fares will be free for the first three months.
Quonset Express will make the Business Park more accessible for the 12,000 workers at over 200 Quonset companies, and for potential new employees as our tenant companies continue to grow. Over 16 million people utilized RIPTA bus services in 2018 and we hope many more at Quonset will take advantage of this new route.
The new public transit service was made possible through an $80,000 Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. Quonset matched these funds with an additional $20,000. The CMAQ grant was originally designated for the RIPTA Vanpool program, already in place, but this portion of funding was unutilized. We know that this new service will make our business park more accessible to new companies, and make it easier for established companies to attract new talent.
The Quonset Express route will begin at Kennedy Plaza with two early morning pickup times to accommodate opening shifts for businesses at the park. Stops at the park will include Ocean State Job Lot, Kiefer Park, Toray Plastics, Senesco and Electric Boat. Afternoon pickups will occur in the same order, aligned with afternoon shifts, and deliver workers back to Kennedy Plaza quickly and easily.
The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) is pleased to be working alongside RIPTA to launch this service for the hardworking employees of Quonset Business Park. The Quonset Express will take cars off the road, make the business park more accessible for employees while reducing Rhode Island’s carbon footprint. This expansion of transportation options is a testament to our commitment to partnering with agencies at every level of government to continue the business park’s growth and successes.
To learn more about the Quonset Express, visit RIPTA.com.
Steven King, PE, is the managing director of the Quonset Development Corp., North Kingstown, R.I.