*glances around* I spy with my wee eyes……a MBTA logo in the T.F. Green terminal? Huh. Well, looks like today’s post is going to be a review on the T.F. Green MBTA station. Just to get the elephant in the room out of the way, though, for the purpose of this post “the station” is referring to everything in the parking garage and the skybridge beyond Post Road. No review on the terminal itself (too many DHS officials around and I’d look suspicious), although I’ll mention it here and there.
First off, how do you access the train station? Well, there’s a few ways. If you’re coming from the terminal (i.e. from RIPTA bus routes 1, 20, and 66, or if you’re coming off a plane), then it’s a relatively long walk. But, if you’re taking the 14, as I touched upon in that post (read here), there’s a timepoint and stop outside the parking garage that houses the platform. Weirdly enough, there’s only a busway on the inbound side. There’s also a parking garage that one can pay to park here (so in a way, it’s also a park & ride), $5 for up to 24 hours of parking.
To get here from the main terminal, you have to find an escalator or elevator that brings you up from the first floor (where you’re likely coming from). Then, you have to go all the way up, and cross the skybridge. It feels long but that’s because it’s essentially a straight shot. In reality, it’s only 0.2 miles (rightabout). Of course, there’s some turns, and sometimes an airport employee driving a cart might offer a ride, but that didn’t happen for me. Eventually, though, I reached the end of the skybridge to the car rental area and was greeted by the MBTA station sign reading “WELCOME TO TF GREEN AIRPORT” along with the TTS announcement, the standard affair for newer Commuter Rail stations built within the last two decades. There’s also a bathroom over here, but I never took a peek at it. But, we’re still not done with getting there from the terminal. WAIT! Don’t use that first elevator, as it’ll leave you on the wrong side of the track! To even reach the Commuter Rail, you have to walk across the 3rd floor of the garage and take the elevator on the far side. Fortunately, though, it’s pedestrian friendly and sidewalks exist. Finally, we go into the stairway and take the elevator down to the ground floor, exit through the left door, and FINALLY, we’re at the train platform. Parking can also be paid for over here, as well.
If you’re getting here via Jefferson Boulevard, it’s a much easier said than done affair as there’s access to the train platform from outside the garage. Access to the aforementioned stairway going to the train platform is via the Hyatt parking lot. Both entrances are fortunately ADA compliant, as is the platform itself. No mini-highs (or lows!) to be seen here!
Alright, now what’s the train platform itself like? Well, part of it is sheltered by the fact it’s in a parking garage, while the other part has a long enclosed shelter that looks like it has a HVAC system. To my awareness, I’m not sure any other Commuter Rail station has such a thing. It’s also a bit barren, but standard for a train platform, with some benches and garbage bins. In terms of transit, you have the 14 heading inbound hourly, and outbound hourly 14s alternating between Narragansett and Newport on weekdays at Jefferson Boulevard. At the terminal, you have the 1 (trips ending in Pawtucket, up to every 40 minutes), 20 (up to every 15), and 66 (up to 30 each way). But, that’s if you’re willing to walk there. So, what about the Commuter Rail, the service this station exists to serve? Well, it’s the only stop that begets a zone 9 fare ($12.75), takes over 1 and a half hours to get to Boston South Station, doesn’t run on weekends, and is served by every other outbound train (and when said train reverses to inbound). In other words, whatever serves Wickford, serves here too. Plus, it’s the lowest-ridership station along the Providence-Stoughton Line, likely because driving would be faster or the cost savings vs. a plane to Logan Airport (+ subway/bus fares) would be not much more expensive. Yikes.
Nearby points of interest: T.F. Green Airport…….and not much else. Pretty much every bus goes to Providence, the 14 and 66 go to CCRI, with the 66 also going to URI. The 14 also goes to Newport and Narragansett. 1 trips originating from here also terminate in Pawtucket, so there’s that.
The good: It’s relatively clean, and it’s in a parking garage meaning the rain isn’t much of an issue. There’s also a shelter on the portion not in the garage. There’s also more transit than Wickford.
The bad: It’s a bit of a walk from the airport terminal, and hardly has any advertising for its existence. There’s also no Amtrak stop here, even though it would be a decent spot for Northeast Regional trains if the side track was electrified (and if there was another track across from the existing platform). It also begets a zone 9 MBTA fare ($12.75!) despite other similarly-distanced stations (e.g. Fitchburg and Wachusett) being zone 8 fares. And yes, it’s the only zone 9 stop in the system, like how Wickford is the only zone 10 stop.
Transit connections: RIPTA (1, 20, 66 at terminal, 14 at Jefferson Blvd.), MBTA (Providence/Stoughton Line), various airlines
Overall, just take the bus to Providence if you’re able to and transfer to the MBTA there. Or, just use Amtrak at that point. The terminal is nice but that’s not part of the station. But given the state of the station, and with it being the least-used station on the Providence/Stoughton Line, it’s passable but is a nuisance. And with the conditions here, there’s probably a good reason it’s as underutilized as it is.