Initially, the service will begin and end — three times in the morning, three in the afternoon — at the Fish Road Park and Ride near the intersection of Fish Road and Route 24 (at Exit 6).
The announcement was made Friday by State Repesentative Jay Edwards (D-Dist.70) following a meeting with officials from the Rhode island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and with Mark Therrien, Assistant General Manager for Planning and Communications at RIPTA.
“We’re going to have a community meeting in Tiverton in late March or early April to get feedback about specific scheduling,” Rep. Edwards said Monday.
“It’s a good thing for the town, to get us back on track,” said Town Council President Ed Roderick about the return of bus service.
Mr. Therrien said Monday that the bus service is planned for departure times on weekday mornings from the Tiverton Park and Ride at 7, 7:30, and 8.
Three buses would depart from downtown Providence for the Tiverton Park and Ride at 4:10, 4:40, and 5:10 p.m.
The scheduling is tentative at this point, he emphasized, and awaits a community meeting to discuss the matter. There are no plans for service on the weekends, he said.
Mr. Therrien said the buses would be express to and from downtown Providence, and would stop at Boyd’s Lane and Roger Williams University at either end of the Mount Hope Bridge, for riders wishing to transfer to the 60 buses that run to Newport and through Portsmouth.
The bus will travel along Metacom Avenue between the Mt. Hope Bridge and I-195, and go through the East Side of Providence, not directly into downtown Providence, he said.
Fares will be $2 each way. The buses will be full-sized buses, not smaller buses.
Bus service will not at this time extend through Tiverton up into Fall River, said Rep. Edwards.
RIPTA has recently negotiated an agreement, he said, with the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) to extend RIPTA service from Pawtucket to Atttleboro, but similar service has not been established for Fall River, an arrangement that requires federal waivers.
Among the buses likely to be used for the Tiverton-Providence route are the newly acquired clean diesel GILLIG BRT buses, introduced last week into RIPTA’s fixed-route fleet.
The buses have low floors, and cost $433,000 each, a RIPTA spokesperson said. The buses are 40 feet long, feature “aerodynamic styling,” weigh 28,500 pounds and seat 39 passengers.
They also have an improved fan system, stainless steel bike racks, flush-mounted bonded windows, soft seating, and new shock absorbers “for a more comfortable ride,” the spokesperson said.
“The wheelchair ramp has been redesigned to reduce maintenance and improve safety and ease of boarding for passengers with disabilities,” a release from RIPTA said.
Fifty such buses will have joined the RIPtA fleet by May, RIPTA said.