The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) last week announced that it is accepting proposals from companies who can test and eventually deliver an automated vehicle service to fill a transportation gap between downtown Providence and Olneyville via the Woonasquatucket River corridor.
Called the Rhode Island Transportation Innovation Partnership (TRIP) Mobility Challenge, this effort would involve the creation of a public-private partnership. The company selected as part of this competitive request-for-proposals (RFP) process would work with RIDOT to identify and propose a route and schedule of operations, as well as plan, design, test and operate a pilot mobility service.
The RFP identifies the densely populated neighborhoods within the Woonasquatucket River Corridor as a potential location for the introduction of a service that would use connected and highly automated and/or autonomous vehicles to connect to downtown Providence. In doing so, it would fill a transportation gap in an area of flourishing development and serve travelers affected by construction associated with the 6-10 Interchange project.
The TRIP Mobility Challenge builds on a year of close collaboration among public, private and academic partners to develop a research-based pilot program. It will be focused both on safely testing new technology and on expanding mobility options in ways that improve the economy and the environment. Among its many partners are the City of Providence, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the Quonset Development Corporation.