RIPTA issues REOI for Dorrance Street Transit Center

May 13, 2022
The transit center will replace RIPTA’s current bus depot with a mixed-use development with an intermodal transit center, offices and an adjacent transit-oriented development.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for the proposed Dorrance Street Transit Center in downtown Providence. The project would see RIPTA and Rhode Island Department of Transportation develop a new primary transit center that consolidates RIPTA service to a single location.

According to the office of Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, the REOI is designed to tap the expertise of private developers across the country for bold, innovative ideas to guide the construction and operations of the new facility.

“The Dorrance Street Transit Center is one more important part of our commitment to restore and revitalize downtown Providence while we create the best possible transit experience for riders,” said Gov. McKee. “This initiative is part of our larger vision for Providence, and our state, that includes our efforts to breathe new life into the Superman Building. Rhode Island has the momentum – we’re committed to keeping it going.”

The proposed Dorrance Street Transit Center would replace Kennedy Plaza as RIPTA’s central bus depot. The proposal envisions a mixed-use development that will include an enclosed intermodal transit center and RIPTA administrative offices, as well as an adjacent mixed-use transit-oriented development (TOD).

The REOI invites private sector entities to submit concepts for the development of the new transit center under a joint development or public-private-partnership arrangement. The REOI is designed to gauge initial industry interest in the development opportunity, as well as to seek industry perspective and feedback on diverse project considerations. From there, the responses will help RIPTA plan and execute the project.

Interested parties have until June 20, 2022 to respond to the REOI. There will be a virtual industry forum on June 8 where RIPTA, its advisors and other sponsors of the Transit Center will present an overview of the project.

RIPTA currently envisions that following a competitive procurement, a single developer will be engaged under a joint development agreement for the design, construction, financing, operation, and/or maintenance of both the intermodal transit center and the multistory, mixed-use TOD development. RIPTA will retain ownership of the site, with a developer operating the facility under a ground lease.

“We are excited to be taking this first official step toward creating a state-of-the-art transit center that our passengers deserve,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian. “The Dorrance Street Transit Center will dramatically improve the passenger experience in downtown Providence, while also accommodating for a growing transit system.”

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