The RIde Program is an umbrella service that provides transportation for individuals with disabilities and seniors based on the eligibility requirements of several state programs. Certification for each program is required and is performed by the agency that funds the program.
Reservations are required for all paratransit services. Reservation procedures are described under Scheduling Trips.
Transportation Provided by RIde
Department of Human Services (DHS)
The Department of Human Services has three programs that fund transportation under the RIde Program.
Elderly Transportation Service
The Elderly Transportation service is for individuals aged 60 or over or low-income disabled individuals whose income qualifies them for Rhode Island Medical Assistance. Elderly transportation is provided on weekdays, except holidays, only for the purposes listed below. There is a $2 copay each one-way trip for clients not enrolled in Medicaid. Transportation must be within the state of Rhode Island.
Dialysis — Renal Centers approve the trips and notify RIde.
Adult Day Care — Adult Day Care Centers approve the trips and notify RIde. Trips are available for seniors on weekdays only. Transportation is limited to a DHS-approved list of adult day care providers.
Senior Nutrition — Senior Centers approve the trips and notify RIde. Trips are available for seniors on weekdays only. Transportation is limited to a DHS-approved list of senior nutrition providers.
Non-Emergency Medical Appointments – Seniors are eligible for trips to/from general medical appointments. People with disabilities as well as seniors are eligible for on-going special medical treatments such as radiation or physical therapy. General medical trips for seniors are available only during certain hours on weekdays. Special medical trip availability varies by city. Please call RIde for eligible times by city or for specific information regarding medical trips. There are no medical trips on weekends or holidays.
Individuals must call RIde directly at least 7 days in advance of the trip date. Space is limited and on a first-call, first-served basis.
Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation - RIde provides some Medicaid-eligible medical trips. People enrolled in Medicaid should contact the Medicaid Transportation Line at (401) 784-3899 for details and approvals. The Medicaid agency sends reservations to RIde; individuals cannot call RIde directly for this service.
RIte Care Transportation — RIte Care is a Medicaid program for low-income children, families and pregnant women. Most people are enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO). Transportation is authorized by the MCO for medical appointments when bus service is unavailable or when the patient has a documented medical reason that prevent them from taking the bus. The MCO sends reservations to RIde; individuals cannot call RIde directly for this service
DD Providers arrange group transportation to their sites for individuals with developmental disabilities. Trips are available on weekdays only. Contact your DD Provider for more details.
Paratransit service provided under ADA is available for an individual whose disability either prevents independent use of the fixed route system or prevents travel to or from bus stops. Under federal regulations, ADA Paratransit Service must operate within a 3/4-mile corridor on either side of a fixed route. ADA service operates during the same hours that the fixed route bus runs. All ADA trips must start and end in the corridor.
Each program served by RIde has different requirements for scheduling trips. ADA trips can be scheduled for any purpose as late as the day before you want to travel. Senior medical trips must be scheduled 7 days in advance and may be limited to the closest provider. Medical trips are provided with a set budget, and some days may be closed to trips because the budget limit has been reached. Subscription trips, which are trips that occur on a daily or weekly basis such as trips to senior meal sites, adult day care, or ARC programs, may be scheduled just once for an extended period.
Reserving Your Ride
To make a reservation, call (401) 461-9760 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm from Monday through Saturday. On Sundays and holidays, ADA passengers only may make reservations between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm by leaving their name, address, and destination as well as the desired arrival time and desired return time on an answering machine. Someone will call you to confirm your trip the next morning.
If you are eligible to ride under more than one program, please let the RIde Reservationist know what program will cover the trip you are requesting.
In order to make a reservation, you should have the following information:
- The date you want to travel.
- Your starting address – where you want to get on or board the bus. Please have the exact street address including zip code.
- Your destination address – where you want to get off the bus. Please have the exact street address including zip code.
- The time you need to arrive at your destination and the time you need to return.
RIde is a shared ride service so your trip time may not be scheduled at the exact time you request. RIde Customer Service Agent will work with you to find a time that works. You may need to call back later to find out the time your trip is scheduled. The RIde automated phone system may also leave a pickup time window the night before your trip. Click here for IVR information.
Same Day Rides
Sorry, we are not able to provide same day rides. All rides must be reserved in advance.
The RIde Reservationist will give you a 30-minute window during which your ride will arrive. You will not be given a specific time. You must be ready at any time during this 30-minute period. Please do not call the office to check on your ride during this 30-minute period. All of our buses display the RIde name. For some rides, cabs may provide service. Watch for the bus or cab and please be ready to go.
Driver Wait Time
To avoid delaying other passengers, drivers can only wait 5 minutes for you. Please be ready to leave when your driver arrives.
For RIde Information call:
More Things You Need to Know About Using RIde
RIde is a public transportation service. While taxis may serve some trips under certain circumstances, RIde vans provide most trips and other passengers are likely to be on board during your trip. Your scheduled pick-up times or travel route may be altered so that another passenger can be accommodated. The van may stop and pick up other riders as it travels to your destination. Shared rides lower the cost of paratransit service. RIde schedulers may ask you to accept trip reservation times that are different from your original requested pick-up time, and your reservation time may be changed so that more passengers may be served.
Some RIde trips are served by taxicabs when the need arises. The same fares apply to RIde trips served by cabs. Cabs cannot be requested.
You must notify us of your cancellation as soon as possible and at least two hours before your scheduled pick-up time so that our buses will be free to pick up other passengers.
Cancellations not made in this way will be treated as “no-shows”. RIde reserves the right to suspend service for a reasonable period of time for riders who exhibit a pattern or practice of missing trips during a six month period.
Traffic, weather, or other delays may sometimes result in a late pick-up that is unavoidable. Please wait until the end of the 30-minute window before calling us to ask about your ride. We will make every effort to pick you up on time.
All RIde service is door-to-door, as needed. Drivers are trained to assist you and are sensitive to your needs. However, drivers do not enter homes and do not go beyond the main lobby of a building. Drivers are also not allowed to lift passengers or mobility devices up and down stairs. Passengers must make other arrangements for assistance in these cases. Drivers also are not allowed to carry grocery bags or other packages.
For your safety and the safety of others, you must use a seatbelt at all times. If you need assistance, please ask your driver. If you use a wheelchair or other mobility device, your driver will secure the device using a four-point system and you must use a lap and shoulder belt in addition to any belts you may have on your mobility device. In the event of an emergency, follow the directions of your driver.
Snow and Ice
If there is a winter storm or other emergency, please watch for media announcements regarding RIde Service. Be sure that your entryway and walkways are clear of ice and snow. This will make it safer for our vehicles and drivers to get to you. Severe Weather Policy.
Please do not offer tips to drivers. Drivers are not allowed to accept tips or gifts.
The number of shopping bags/carry-ons is limited to what the passenger can carry on the van in a single trip. Generally no more than 3. Drivers are not permitted to carry your bags.
Service animals are welcome on the bus. When you are reserving a trip, please let the RIde Reservationist know if you will be traveling with a service animal.
As a courtesy to others, smoking, eating, drinking, and radio playing are not allowed on the bus.
Questions, Comments, Complaints?
How are we doing? We would like to know what you think about our service. Questions, comments, or complaints may be sent to the address below or you can call the RIde administrative office at 461-8130 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.
The RIde Program
705 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
If you have a complaint or comment about service, please have the date and time of the event and the bus number or driver name when you call.