In 2022, RIPTA studied ADA/Paratransit service to understand what it might look like to expand current paratransit-type service to other areas of the state.
Just as the fixed-route system connects people to jobs, family, education, shopping, recreation, and more, RIPTA’s RIde paratransit service provides those connections for riders whose disabilities prevent them from independently using the fixed-route bus. Qualifying riders must apply and be approved to use RIde. In accordance with federal guidelines, paratransit riders can currently request rides that begin and end within three-quarters of a mile on either side of, and during the same hours of operation as, the RIPTA fixed-route bus. This allows RIPTA to provide paratransit riders with the same level of service as fixed-route riders.
RIPTA performed this study in response to a RI General Assembly request to evaluate the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities traveling outside the current paratransit service area. RIPTA considered the costs and benefits of a statewide program to better address these needs and considered possible alternatives. In December 2022, RIPTA produced a final report estimating the number of individuals potentially served by each alternative and the resources needed to support them.