Unleashing Our Cities
and Towns

Cities and towns are the engines of the Rhode Island economy, providing vital community services by creating jobs, encouraging local tourism, and by creating community gathering locations.  These local governments can be leaders in clean transportation by deploying and promoting electric vehicles and clean transportation alternatives both within their own fleets and throughout the community. These fleets include safety services, park services and maintenance vehicles, school buses, and more.  In addition, cities and towns can work with local business leaders to provide services to enhance the competitiveness of Rhode Island as a hub for advanced and emerging companies by providing exciting employee and conveniences.

These government-driven initiatives not only increase electric vehicle awareness, but they also improve air quality and will create government fleet operation and maintenance savings from lower maintenance costs over the lifetime of the vehicles.

Revenues from the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program can assist local governments in capturing these benefits.

Municipal Fleet Transition Assistance

there are 10 thousand publicly-owned cars and trucks in Rhode Island
Municipalities can reduce both fleet emissions and operating costs while improving service to the community by replacing their fleet vehicles with EVs. Many municipal fleets are perfect candidates for electrification, with predictable usage patterns and vehicles that return to the same centralized location every night.

Recognizing that municipalities are at different stages of exploring or pursuing electric fleet options, this program will provide a range of services to help local governments transition to electric fleets, including
  • resources and funding for conducting local fleet assessments, including collecting data on current fleet usage (e.g. types and number of vehicles, common routes, fleet purchase policy) and completing multiyear total cost of ownership analysis for vehicle types;
  • models for updating fleet purchasing policies and establishing electrification goals and targets; and
  • electric vehicle and charging infrastructure purchase incentives and grants.
Many municipal fleets are perfect candidates for electrification, with predictable usage patterns and vehicles that return to the same centralized location every night.
Charging infrastructure can also be designed for public use during the day to serve visitors to municipal locations and commercial areas and to be integrated with additional ongoing “green hub” programs, such as local renewable development, to leverage additional funding and benefits

Cranston School Bus Electrification

28 thousand children suffer from asthma in Rhode Island
School buses provide the majority of student transportation in the state. The exposure to diesel exhaust from these vehicles puts children’s developing lungs at risk. With zero-tailpipe emissions, electric buses drastically reduce our kids’ exposure to unhealthy and toxic pollution.

As the owner of its school bus fleet, the Cranston Public School District, serving over 10,000 students at 15 elementary schools and eight middle and high schools, is a prime candidate for school bus electrification. This program would provide funding and programmatic assistance to develop infrastructure and pilot a transition to electric school buses.
 the Cranston Public School District, serving over 10,000 students at 15 elementary schools and eight middle and high schools, is a prime candidate for school bus electrification.

Pawtucket and Wickford Train
Station Mobility Hubs

Two million square feet of new development opportunities in the Pawtucket Mobility Hub
Creating mobility hubs within community centers can create additional transportation options for commuters looking to travel within a given community or throughout the region. Developing a hub for transportation within large dense urban centers and in smaller community centers enables businesses in both locations to be supported by the increased density of foot traffic. Funding from the TCI-P can help move the ongoing Pawtucket/Central Falls Commuter Rail Station & Bus Hub and Wickford Mobility Hub projects into the next phase of development, helping the community realize a suite of benefits.

For example, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is developing plans to build a new station and bus hub at the historic Pawtucket Train Station that will:
  • provide significantly improved transit connection for residents living along a corridor where 72 trains pass each day but to which these residents currently have no access;
  • improve safety and local air quality;
  • bring commuters to a new commercial development area;
  • improve quality of service and quality of life for a large population of transit dependent individuals; and,
  • focus investment for a community that has a 20-30 percent poverty level and 33 percent minority population.
A similar project has been planned for the Wickford Junction Mobility Hub in North Kingstown.  The new station will provide convenient commuter rail service to Providence and Boston, increasing access to economic opportunity.  TCI-P funding can be used to support the state match requirements (around $2 million) to secure federal funding.
A Rendering of the Pawtucket Commuter Rail Station

Quonset Industrial Park
Flex Service Transportation

More than 70% of Quonset Industrial park employees want some kind of commuter improvements.
This program will improve on an existing RIPTA Flex Service program that provides “last mile” transportation between regional bus rapid transit, commuter rail, and commercial areas. This will facilitate public transit use that improves quality of life, saves commuters time and money, and reduces local emissions and traffic. Currently, the program requires that patrons call at least a day in advance to schedule their pick-up.

This program will include the development of an app that would enable same-day/on-demand booking. It will also increase the capacity of the program, reducing instances of oversubscription of services—meaning workers will have greater access and flexibility to travel to and from work.
  1. RIPTA.com
  1. Photo credits. Header Map Image, Pawtucket Train Station Rendering, Flex Service Inset: RIPTA; School Bus Lot via Google Earth; RIPTA Flex Service van by Adam E. Moreira.
A small map depicting the proposed flex route for Quonset Industrial Park
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