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Date Set for Start of Wickford Junction Train Service

Commuter rail service will begin at Wickford Junction on April 23.

In the 1950s, Bob Cioe dreamed that . More than half a century later, that dream is nearly a reality.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced that commuter rail service to Wickford Junction in North Kingstown will begin on Monday, April 23. Commuter trains will bring passengers from Wickford to Warwick, Providence and Boston Monday through Friday – offering 20 trips per day. (Scroll down for the complete list of times.)

According to DOT officials, travel time to Warwick will be about 15 minutes, to Providence will be 35 minutes and to Boston’s South Station will be just less then two hours. Fares will vary according to destination, ranging from $2.25 for a trip to Warwick each way ($3 starting July 1, 2012) to $9 each way ($11 starting July 1, 2012) up to Boston. The Wickford to Providence route will be $2.50 each way (jumping to $3.25 this summer).

Tickets are half price for seniors and those with physical disabilities. Kids 11 years and younger are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Monthly passes for unlimited travel to Providence ($89) are also available, along with ones for Boston ($308).

According to RIDOT Director Michael Lewis, the expansion of the commuter rail to Wickford will help alleviate congestion along the Route 4 and Route I-95 corridor during peak hours.

Construction began on the $32 million project in September 2010, which was largely aided by federal grants. The station features an 848-foot platform with seating and covered areas and a four-story parking garage – large enough to house 1,100 cars. (Parking will cost $4 per day.) The garage also features 10 charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles, bike racks, heated and air-conditioned bathrooms, indoor waiting area and even a coffee shop.

Though construction began only 19 months ago, the vision of a train station in Wickford has been at the forefront of Bob Cioe’s mind for years. Owner of Wickford Junction, the North Kingstown native’s love for trains began when he was in college. Trying to save money while attending college in Boston, Cioe took the train from South County to Boston every day. The experience won him over, and he’s hoping it will do the same for families and travelers decades later. (If you want to see how much this project means to Bob Cioe, check out WPRI’s video here.)

Inbound Trains (leaving Wickford to Warwick, Providence and South Station)

  • 4:50 a.m.
  • 5:58 a.m.
  • 6:37 a.m.
  • 7:45 a.m.
  • 9:10 a.m.
  • 1:10 p.m.
  • 3:40 p.m.
  • 6:55 p.m. (only to Providence)
  • 7:50 p.m. (only to Providence)
  • 10:10 p.m.

Outbound Trains (arriving to Wickford from Warwick, Providence and South Station)

  • 5:43 a.m. (arriving from Warwick and Providence only)
  • 6:17 a.m. (arriving from Warwick and Providence only)
  • 7:32 a.m. (arriving from Warwick and Providence only)
  • 8:54 a.m.
  • 12:59 p.m.
  • 3:26 p.m.
  • 5:41 p.m.
  • 6:42 p.m.
  • 7:18 p.m.
  • 9:55 p.m.
Samantha Turner (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 07:29 PM
As excited as I am for this, what I'm looking forward to the most is seeing Bob Cioe's face on April when those first trains come rolling down the tracks. It's been a long time coming and those who've followed this story know how much it means to Mr. Cioe to finally - after all these years - see it come together. Congrats!
JP April 06, 2012 at 11:10 AM
The fact that it isn't running on the weekends makes it totally useless for many. It's not cost effective if it costs me almost $7 per day and more time to get to work to even use it to commute. The evening trains don't go to Boston so it's useless to even use to go to Boston for a few hours in the evenings. Absolute total waste of money. Should have never built it. It's not going to save people anything and with the current schedule many will never use it. Unless you do not have your own transportation it isn't going to benefit you at all. I don't see how they think it will cut congestion on the roads during rush hour traffic unless they think people will use it, take more time out of their schedules, and spend more money or the same money they currently do to get to work.
Jeffrey Hill April 06, 2012 at 04:21 PM
With the cost of a T monthly pass and parking, it'll cost about the same for a commuter going anywhere on the line between Mansfield and Boston (where the jobs are) to take the train from Wickford Junction rather than drive, though it's true that the comparison might not balance out if the T's fare hikes go through. However, if the adage "Time is money" holds true, that's still up to three hours a day that a commuter will be on a train rather than driving, either being productive or leisurely. For Warwick or Providence, you're right, JP: it'd cost more to park and ride to Providence on the T than to drive, but on the same token, it now costs less to take RIPTA than to drive. For the line extension to really work for area businesses and not just Boston area commuters, though, I agree that weekend/holiday service and reliable (i.e. synchronized) intermodal connections to Wickford, Quonset, Narragansett and over the bridges are definitely in order.
Joe Smith April 06, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Agree..does it stop at TF Green? Has some value then as cheaper than parking at Green.
np April 06, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Wish it ran on weekends....
LM April 06, 2012 at 09:17 PM
How much will it cost to park in the new garage?
Ed Renehan April 07, 2012 at 11:15 AM
This is extremely cool. But I, too, really wish there would be weekend trains.
Janelle April 07, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I didn't realize there would be no weekend service!!! What?? Totally useless. Typical Rhode Island short sightedness. Is it that the weekend service will be starting up later?
Govstench April 07, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Sam, what would really be nice is if they could plug this stop into the NYC run. Those trains go right by there. There is no reason why this station couldn't be included in the Boston to NYC run. (Not the Amtrak Metroliner but the Domestic).
Govstench April 07, 2012 at 12:32 PM
There is no reason why this stop could not be included in the schedule similiar to the Kingston stop near URI. Perhaps it's the $$$ involved.
NK Reins April 07, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Hmmm. No weekend rides, yet? Okay, we can wait some more until they start. Now what I really wanna know is when these commuter rail services will give way to taking me to New York City and Long Island. Whats the point of having train tracks if I cant travel further? Oh well, I can wait for that to happen too.
Spring Street April 07, 2012 at 05:54 PM
RIP Thomas Kincade would of found Beautiful Landscapes along the train ride! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kinkade http://www.artbythomaskinkade.com/thomas_kinkade.html http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/53870829-200/kinkade-artist-paintings-died.html.csp http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/famed_painter_thomas_kinkade_dead_vGW6p9D58ixJHyfNFmI3jO
Nancy April 09, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I think this is fantastic. Provides a way to get where the jobs are saving money on gas, car maintenance, and parking fees which can be upwards of $200 a month for Boston. The time on the train can be used working or relaxing, but either way is more useful than sitting in traffic. Hopefully with success some weekend routes will be added but this is a resource for commuters. Not to head to the aquarium once a year, though that would be great also. I moved here from Boston 9 years ago, pre-recession and have been shocked by the lack of mobility of many residents, lack of public transport mindfulness, and lack of decent paying jobs. RI has a fantastic low cost bus system, but no one uses it! Maybe this will allow many Rhode Islanders to stay living here, and not be forced to leave RI to find work.

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