In November, officials put shovel to dirt and broke ground on the longstanding plan for a new transit center: The Pawtucket and Central Falls Commuter Rail Station. The project, budgeted at over $40 million, is slated to be complete in 2020. Planners assert that the station is integral to the state’s initiatives to improve transportation to generate economic recovery, amongst other benefits.
What is now unused lot space on the corner of Goff Avenue and Pine Street – really, it’s just an expanse of concrete, uneven cobblestone, and yellowing grass encased by a chain link fence – will eventually be a shiny new stop on the MBTA’s rail system, plus a bus interchange to replace the one on Roosevelt Avenue. This will mean a shake-up in the train schedule – prepare, Boston or Providence commuters – but the city hopes it will “drive [Pawtucket’s] economy, employment, retail, and recreation.”
This is where the new station comes in. After years of studies and federal grant applications, plus design and planning, Pawtucket might just get its second chance; the station is expected to see around 520 people board transit there each day. It’ll connect riders to PVD, T.F. Green, Wickford Junction, Boston, South Attleboro, and all the cities in between. Demand for those refurbished mill apartments nearby will skyrocket. It will be an- other revolution for the city – this time, in transportation. While construction has only just started, anticipation is al- ready brewing as we all ask, what is next for Pawtucket?