RIDOT taking over underutilized commuter rail station

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is taking over an underutilized commuter rail station.

The agency announced Monday it is taking over Wickford Junction in hopes of saving more than $375,000 each year. The agency says it will use the savings to offset costs associated with increasing the number of daily bus trips between Wakefield and Providence.

The station opened in 2012 and has a 1,100-space parking garage. The state has been paying WJ Management LLC to operate and maintain it.

The changes come as state officials continue exploring selling the park-and-ride lot on Route 102 and Quaker Lane. That plan would force agency commuters to park at Wickford Junction.

The agency is also planning to build a driveway entrance to the station, avoiding entering through a nearby shopping plaza.

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