The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that it is in the process of requalifying all passengers eligible to participate in RIPTA’s Reduced Fare Bus Pass Program for lower income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. All participants are required to obtain new passes and the goal is to have this process completed by July 1, 2016.
In order to facilitate this process, RIPTA will be accepting applications at the Customer Service Office in its headquarters at 705 Elmwood Avenue in Providence in addition to the Photo Identification Office at 1 Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence. Both locations will be open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The new passes will have a blue wave clearly displayed on the front and look distinctly different from the blue and orange passes currently used. Participants will be required to turn in their old passes in order to obtain new passes. After the requalification period ends, any old passes that have not been returned will be deactivated and will not be accepted on buses.
RIPTA is in the process of launching an outreach program to make sure that program participants are aware of the need to requalify and obtain new passes. The Authority is notifying participants as well as the organizations that represent these populations. Information will also be shared via our website (www.ripta.com), social media and flyers.
Beginning July 1, 2016, people who qualify for this program can ride RIPTA fixed-route buses for one-fourth of the full fare price. That means 50 cents per trip and additional 25 cents if a transfer is needed.
In order to qualify for this Reduced Fare Bus Pass Program, participants must be at least 65 years old and not have income in excess of the 200-percent of the federal poverty level or have a disability and not have income in excess of 200-percent of the federal poverty level. Specifics about the application process and what documentation is required can be found at http://goo.gl/BiAyV1.
New passes will be valid for two years from the date of the participant’s next birthday. Individuals who obtained their passes before January 1, 2013 will be required to pay $10 for their new passes. Anyone who obtained their pass after January 1, 2013 will still need to requalify but will not have to pay the $10 processing fee.
To further assist in the requalification process, RIPTA staff will be visiting senior centers throughout the state to process applications on site. It can take up 21 days for an application to be processed, but in most cases the passes are issued more quickly. RIPTA officials are urging participants to get their new passes early to reduce wait times at our customer service locations.
For information on RIPTA services, call 781-9400 or visit ripta.com.