There may be no such thing as a free lunch, yet in Rhode Island, there are about to be free commuter train rides.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is offering the service among the state's three commuter rail stations starting Monday and going through the end of 2017. There will be no charge on in-state MBTA trips from Providence, Warwick's T.F. Green or North Kingstown's Wickford Station.
The fare between any of the three stations is normally $3.50 one way.
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Transportation officials say the average daily ridership at Wickford Junction is less than 300. It's 414 at T.F. Green, while it's more than 3,000 at Providence Station.
Officials blame low gas prices and less development around Wickford Junction for the lower-than-expected ridership.
The six-month promotion is expected to cost about $102,000.