Boston trip, but couldn’t get past Providence Station

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September 6, 2012 by Art Eddy

Took an office trip to Boston on a marketing blitz, had a great time wandering around Boston and evaluating different streets and parks and meeting different potential clients. We took the train into Boston and used public transportation all day. Great day all around.

As we left the Providence train station I struggled with why Warwick is trying to reinvent itself through rail but Providence has turned its back on its rail system and to be flat out honest, the train station in Providence is absurd. Could you ever imagine a more ridiculous system? You get in a line 15 deep to purchase MBTA tickets at a cash only line at the cafe!! You look across at the ticket counters for Amtrak and they are vacant. I stood behind someone that ordered two coffees and a couple of bagels to make up the difference to charge by credit card while the three people at Amtrak starred vacantly at the crowd.

You arrive to Providence for the first time and here is your experience – a map that makes you walk a mile somewhere else to connect to the public transit system. 20120906-203711.jpg

It cannot be that bad you say, no? The train station welcomes you to “the creative capital?”

20120906-204525.jpg Apparently the slime city.

When is Providence going to start to understand that transit can and should be an economic driver for the city? The train station is unfriendly and if I were looking to invest in a city and I came out of the train station after flying through T.F. Green I would think twice.

If we are not thinking about this as a major priority than we are once again missing the importance public transportation plays in our society. Infrastructure matters. Stop ignoring the big picture and stop putting the band aid to cover up deep wounds. Boston is investing $75,000,000 into the modernization of the Government Center Station. We are investing $400,000 into exterior improvements. It is time to move Providence forward as a city that recognizes the value of infrastructure and create a city that retains its top talent in the country.

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