Warwick, R.I. Station to Combine Commuter Rail, Auto Rental Facilities

WARWICK, R.I. -- Rhode Island officially breaks ground this week on a new $222.5-million intermodal train station, according to The Providence Journal.

The multipurpose facility is planned to link Warwick and T.F. Green Airport to Boston through Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter rail and to the entire Northeast corridor via Amtrak trains.

Planners say that the station’s combination rail-and-air link and rental garage is one of the first of its kind in the nation. The bulk of the facility will be a 3,200-space garage, housing cars for commuters and for the 10 rental-car companies that use the airport, The Providence Journal reports.

A concourse adjacent to the garage will contain counter space and offices for the rental-car companies, allowing them to move out of their small kiosks in the Green terminal and move their fleets off the crowded airport property.

The project has been stalled for years by an inability to reach a deal with the rental-car companies and by the need to secure more financing. Last month, the General Assembly approved $48.7 million in bonds and the rental companies came to agreement with the airport on a cost-sharing scheme that avoids taxing customers to pay for costs not covered by government grants.

Rental companies will continue to charge the $3.75 per-day per-car fee that they have levied since 2001 to fund the construction and operating costs of the garage. That fee will increase over time, capping at $5.50. The companies would also pay the airport a facility fee totaling $900,000 annually.

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