Rhode Island College (RIC) and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that the school is joining a network of colleges and universities in the state that allow their students to use their student IDs to access RIPTA’s statewide bus system. Under a recently signed agreement, RIC students will be enrolled in the transit authority’s U-Pass program, which will provide them with unlimited travel on RIPTA buses, including nights, weekends, and during vacations. Currently, almost all private colleges and universities in the state have all or some students enrolled in the U-Pass program, which is funded by the participating schools. The new program at RIC will be open to the school’s approximately 7,700 undergraduate and graduate students.
“We are excited to welcome RIC into this popular program,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian. “This program allows college students to take advantage of the many desirable destinations in our state while providing access to off-campus jobs and connections to regional train and commuter rail service. It ensures that students are comfortable using public transit and will always have that as a safe, accessible form of transportation.”
“Colleges and universities across the country are finding innovative ways to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of a college education. We recognize that for many of our students public transportation is an important service not only to attend college, but also for day-to-day needs,” said Rhode Island College President Frank D. Sánchez. “Approximately 85 percent of our students commute to campus. Providing unlimited access to RIPTA will be a tremendous support for many students, that will also free up additional parking and reduce traffic congestion on campus. It will also provide benefits for our resident students, who will have a safe, reliable transportation option for exploring our city and state.”
RIPTA officials also announced that Route 55 (Admiral/Providence College) is being extended to service the college’s main campus on Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Providence. That location is also serviced by Route 92 (RI College/Federal Hill/East Side) and students will have robust service seven days a week. “This program will benefit not only the college, but the community as well,” Avedisian said noting that increased transit use helps to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.
Students who wish to take advantage of the program can do so using their regularly issued RIC ID card, which is available at the Student ID office in the Student Union.