Parking at the garages at the Interlink at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick and at Wickford Junction Station in North Kingstown will be free for the remainder of the winter, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced this week.
"As we have seen over the past couple of days, travel conditions and parking in Providence have been anything but normal because of the blizzard," Chafee said. "In consideration of what has happened, and the expectations of future storms in the coming weeks, we have decided to provide free parking at our commuter rail stations to make it easier for people to get to work for the rest of the winter."
Commuters taking advantage of the free parking will receive validated tickets allowing them to exit the parking garages at T.F. Green and Wickford at no charge through Friday, March 29. Fares from Warwick and Wickford to Providence are $3 and $3.25, respectively, each way. Fares to and from these stations to Boston's South Station cost $10.50 and $11, respectively. Full schedule and fare information can be found on RIDOT's website at www.dot.ri.gov.
"While we can clear roads in a relatively short time following snowstorms, major weather events such as the blizzard leave huge volumes of snow that create hazardous situations for many days with slick and narrowed roadways, snow-covered breakdown lanes and less parking," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. "These problems are being experienced all across Rhode Island but are greatly exacerbated in a dense, urban environment such as Providence."
Commuter rail service, provided by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), features 20 stops per day at T.F. Green and Wickford Junction stations Monday through Friday. Normally, parking at T.F. Green costs $6.75 each day and parking at Wickford Junction costs $4 daily. T.F. Green does charge a surcharge of $30 for parking beyond 24 hours. This fee will not be waived as part of the wintertime free parking.