State and local planners hope to bring back streetcar lines as part of a comprehensive plan to modernize the public transit system for Providence and surrounding communities. The final version of the plan, called the Providence Metropolitan Transit Enhancement Study, will be released tomorrow. In addition to improving the bus system and increasing the number of RIPTA park-and-ride lots, the report indicates that Providence is an excellent candidate for streetcars. Tuesday’s ProJo,
The study proposes a “starter” streetcar system operating within a roughly two-mile corridor. . It would operate from Rhode Island Hospital north through the Jewelry District, downtown and Kennedy Plaza. It would split there, with one branch going to the Providence railroad station and the other to Thayer Street, on the city’s East Side near Brown University.
The salient feature of a good public transit system is frequency. Just keep ’em coming so that schedules become unnecessary. In Boston, London or Toronto, riders just go to the stop or the station, wait a few minutes, and hop on. As to the buses — and I’m not the first person to consider this — could we consider a larger fleet but smaller buses, deploying them as needed?