March 6, 2018

Could rail help Rhode Islanders get out and about much easier? A detailed report released last week by TransitMatters, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving transit in and around Boston, suggests so.

The report, “Regional Rail for Metropolitan Boston,” which the group hopes will be used by policymakers, envisions a world where trains in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system run more frequently, using faster and cleaner self-propelled electric cars that make service more convenient, dependable and friendly to the environment.

A ride from Providence to Boston, which now takes about 70 minutes, could take just 40. And the trains could leave Providence Station every 15 minutes, making them much more convenient and useful.

“With traffic congestion worsening with each passing month, the need for fast, flexible, and affordable mobility alternatives is more apparent than ever,” the report states. To provide those alternatives, the region needs train service that runs “at frequent intervals,” so that “passengers won’t be burdened by multi-hour waits.” 

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