Providence, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) received proposals from four real estate development firms in response to a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of the Providence Intermodal Transit Center, a facility that will integrate bus and train service with parking and other economic development opportunities.

The firms submitting proposals include Boston Development Collaborative, LLC; Boston Properties Limited Partnership; Marsella Development Corporation; and Redgate Capital Partners.

Currently, bus service in Providence is centered at Kennedy Plaza which is about a quarter mile away from the train station. The proposed Transit Center will be located in close proximity to the existing Providence Station, and will reunite bus and train service while providing supporting transit-oriented development that would increase ridership and utilization.

In addition, a new transit hub could include residential, retail, office and/or commercial development adjacent to Providence Station. The intention is to integrate private funding into this project, using a public-private partnership model. The movement of buses to Providence Station was envisioned back in 2014 with voter approval of a $35 million bond for transit hubs.

“This is a successful model to engage the private sector to work on a public sector project that will provide tremendous benefits, support a best-in-class public transit facility while spurring economic development opportunities in which private industry shares the cost,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “This is a unique opportunity to not only address our transportation needs by bringing together bus and train service in one unified location, but also to create a catalyst for economic growth in Providence.”

The selection of a developer for the transit hub is a two-step process. Development teams qualified through the RFQ process will be eligible to compete in an upcoming request for proposals (RFP) process. The developer will be chosen based on a number of key criteria, including the firm’s experience with transit facilities, transit-oriented development and public-private partnerships, as well as their initial concepts for the design, construction and operation of the transit hub and associated real estate development project.

RIDOT will arrange for an evaluation team to review the proposals, with the expectation of notifying the qualified firms and issuing the RFP by the end of the year. Proposals received in response to the RFP also will be reviewed by the evaluation team. RIDOT intends to award a contract for the Providence Intermodal Transit Center in late Summer 2017 and start construction in Fall 2018.

The Transit Center project is being developed by RIDOT, in collaboration with the Department of Administration’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).

Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the country, yet its transit utilization is well below the national average. A new transit hub in Providence would help the state “connect the dots” with its transportation system and make it easier and more convenient for people to use transit.