Warwick Rental Facility in the Works

WARWICK, R.I. -- Authorities at T.F. Green Airport expect to firm up plans for a rental car garage by sometime next month, according to the Warwick Beacon newspaper.

The Rhode Island Airport Corp. is now considering four different project proposals. Last year, a $168 million project, which included a consolidated car rental facility and people mover, was derailed after several rental car companies filed lawsuits arguing the project was too costly. Then-Governor Lincoln Almond had backed the project.

This plan is still under consideration. The three other proposed projects are a new garage where the current long-term parking lot is located, along with a people mover; a new garage where the current short-term parking lot is located, in front of the terminal; and lease or purchase of the existing Red Beam garage that New England Parking Co. owns and operates.

The original rental facility plan drew opposition by some car rental companies because of a proposed customer facility charge hike -- from $3.75 to $5 per day. However, Hertz and Avis expressed support, arguing that the project's benefits outweighed its costs.

The Rhode Island Airport Corp. said cost and traffic considerations would be key factors in project selection.

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