Tim White and Ted Nesi have checked in on the ridership of the newish Wickford Junction:
Service started at the Wickford Junction station in April 2012. The latest ridership figures supplied by the R.I. Department of Transportation show 391 people used it on an average weekday as of last September, up from 338 a year earlier.
By comparison, the 2005 South County Commuter Rail Service operations plan that was used to build support for the effort contained a forecast that daily ridership would hit 3,386 by 2020. To meet those projections, Wickford Junction ridership would have to increase by 776% over the next five years.
The study used to project ridership was done in 1995, and an update has missed its deadline. U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D, RI) argues that ridership at the Providence station was low once, too. ““Now it’s one of the most popular stations along the whole route, about 2,300 passengers a day,” he says, and it’s interesting to note that 2,300 passengers a day in Providence is more than 1,000 fewer than was projected for Wickford.
To modify a saying, if it looks like a boondoggle and costs money like a boondoggle…