Providence Plans a $126 Million Streetcar Line

Operating costs covered by new tax district along the 2-mile route

Planners for Providence and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority laid out the route for a $126-million streetcar system through the city’s core and proposed an unusual method to help pay for it.

The two-mile-long system would link the city’s hospital complex, College Hill and Kennedy Plaza, and its newest economic-development project, the “Knowledge District” that officials are trying to create south of Johnson & Wales University. It would also, the planners say, generate millions of square feet of development and thousands of jobs. It would, however, leave out the city’s railroad station.

The state would borrow 32% of the construction cost, but the plan is expected to have no impact on RIPTA’s budget.

Fares would be $1. For much of its operating money, however, the system would depend on a new tax district along the route, with assessments levied on benefiting property owners, 95 cents per $1,000 in assessed valuation within one-eighth of a mile of the route, and 55 cents per $1,000 within a quarter of a mile.

(More on Providence's streetcar plan . . . )