Transit's Benefits to You

  • It’s a myth that transit benefits only the elderly, the poor and those with special needs.

  • Even if you never take a bus, you benefit from less congested roads, cleaner air and economically vibrant communities.

  • Every day, tens of thousands of people take the bus to jobs, services and school. We deliver almost 26 million passenger trips annually.

  • Take away the buses, trolleys, and RIde vans and there’d be thousands of more cars on the state’s already congested roads.

  • Transit reduces traffic congestion and the emissions that pollute our air. And it makes our roads safer.

  • Plus transit decreases the need to use valuable space for more roads and parking so we can preserve Rhode Island’s historic character, open green spaces and natural beauty.

  • By taking people to work, services, shopping and leisure-time activities, transit helps support economic development. To revitalize cities and grow the economy of our towns transit is a vital tool.

  • For seniors, transit facilitates independence.

  • For state residents with disabilities, it expands access.

  • For tourists, it offers a fun way to travel between and within our state’s two major cities.

  • For commuters, it provides an economical, alternate mode of transportation.

  • Ultimately, transit provides mobility options that sustain and enhance quality of life for all Rhode Island residents.

Grow Smart Rhode Island said it best when it observed that mobility options “allow Rhode Islanders of all incomes to move around with dignity and without the serious social, environmental and public health consequences delivered to us by ever-increasing and unsustainable auto use” (A Smart Growth Agenda for a Better Rhode Island, Grow Smart Rhode Island, n.d.).  

Transit Boosting Economic Development

  • Provides access to labor market for urban and suburban employers: approximately 50% of RIPTA bus trips take Rhode Islanders to their jobs

  • Facilitates businesses’ recruitment of employees

  • Maximizes travel safety, saving on employee time lost to road accident and injury and reduces traffic congestion, saving on work time lost to delay

  • Reduces tax base of businesses served by transit through savings on land that would be required for parking and its associated costs

  • Enhances business property values

  • Offers economic opportunity to low income, transit-dependent workers in urban areas so that they can commute by bus to the suburbs—where most of the new jobs in Rhode Island are

  • Maximizes pre-tax savings for commuters who use transit or vanpool and their employers via commuter benefit programs (available through RIPTA’s Commuter Resource RI Program)

  • Supports tourism industry by offering visitors attractive mobility options such as clean fuel trolleys, and economical all-day passes for travel in Providence and Newport

  • Reduces wear and tear of our roads, prolonging their life and saving on re-construction costs

  • Boosts capacity on congested state highways, streets and roads for more efficient and safer transport of people and goods statewide


Transit Improving Environmental Quality

  • Improves air quality by equipping diesel buses with pollution controls, cleaner fuel, and new engines to dramatically reduce emissions—measures praised by the EPA

  • Fights air pollution by providing an alternative to cars, reducing carbon monoxide emissions

  • Offers free carpooling and vanpooling matches through Commuter Resource RI's AlterNet Program

  • Provides free bus and trolley travel on days forecast by the RI Department of Environmental Management as Air Quality Alert Days

  • Solves parking issues

  • Enables students at colleges and universities participating in UPASS program to use statewide RIPTA system rather than cars

  • Conserves energy by reducing fuel consumption that would be used by individual passenger vehicles and decreases dependence on foreign oil

  • Reduces need to replace open green space with more highways


Transit’s Many Mobility Options

  • Fixed-Route Bus Service - predictable service on set routes at scheduled times to 38 of the State’s 39 cities and towns

  • Park n' Ride Service - peak period commuter service from 27 lots around the State to downtown Providence and other major activity centers

  • Providence LINK Trolleys - a circulator system of clean-fuel trolleys, running from Federal Hill to the East Side and from the State House to the South Side

  • Flex Service - a reservation-based service that also allows riders to hop on at Flex Stops, serving Flex Zones in Narragansett, Westerly, Kingston, Bristol/Island Park/Tiverton, West Warwick and Woonsocket; connects passengers to fixed-route service for travel outside Flex Zones

  • Commuter Resource RI Program - a free service, providing customized commuting options, pre-tax commuter benefits to employees and employers, car and vanpool matches and sponsored transit options 

  • RIde Program - door-to-door service for residents with disabilities and seniors who are unable to use traditional bus service; a collaboration of the RI Department of Elderly Affairs, RI Department of Mental Health & Retardation, Governors Commission on Disabilities, RI Department of Human Services, and RIPTA

  • Rack n’ Ride – bus racks allow passengers on our 40 foot buses to bring their bikes with them at no extra cost

  • Job Access Program - job transportation services for people transitioning from welfare to work in West Warwick and Woonsocket; a collaboration with the Department of Human Services

  • WorkLink – job transportation on Flex Service for people with disabilities in communities that have Flex Zones

  • Bus Pass Program for Residents with Disabilities and Seniors - heavily-discounted (and for DEA low-income certified passengers free) passes for use on RIPTA buses and trolleys

  • UPASS Program - students at participating colleges and universities use their student IDs as passes on RIPTA buses and trolleys or have the opportunity to purchase discounted transit via subsidies provided by their schools