RIDOT: 4,200+ took advantage of free trains to RI Air Show

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — More people this year took advantage of free train rides to and from the Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show, the state Department of Transportation said on Monday.

RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said “Trains to Planes” was a success in its second year, with more than 4,200 people taking advantage of the program. That’s up from about 3,800 last year, according to Alviti.

Free train service was offered in and out of Providence, T.F. Green, and Wickford Junction in an effort to cut down on traffic. Alviti said there were around 2,000 fewer cars in the area as a result of the program.

“It cost DOT about $65,000 to do it,” he said, “but I think we reaped the benefit both in the convenience and in the efficiency of moving people in and out of the air show.”

This was the first year the service was offered in Wickford, and Alviti said about 700 people took advantage of that.

The Rhode Island Air National Guard said approximately 74,000 people in total attended the air show.

If you rode a train to the planes this weekend, RIDOT wants to hear about the experience. Click here to take the survey »

Alviti also said RIDOT is planning to offer free train fares to and from Wickford Junction later this year as a way to raise awareness about commuter rail service in Rhode Island. The offer would be available for a six-month-period, according to Alviti, but he did not say exactly when it would begin.