The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that effective immediately, the indoor public waiting area at the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center at 23 America’s Cup Avenue will be closed temporarily. The area will close after 6 pm today, and will remain closed until officials decide it is appropriate to reopen it in light of ongoing statewide efforts to combat the coronavirus by limiting large groups of people in public places.
Earlier today, RIPTA announced that it was temporarily closing the Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Transportation Center interior passenger waiting area in Providence. The Authority also announced the temporary closing of its Photo Identification Office in Kennedy Plaza and at its headquarters, 705 Elmwood Avenue in Providence. Passengers at Kennedy Plaza are advised to use the outdoor ticket vending machines there to purchase their fare products.
On Monday, RIPTA announced the closing of its Ticket Window inside the Kennedy Plaza building. Also on Monday, The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council announced the temporary closing of the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center at 175 Main Street in Pawtucket – a location that provides an interior public waiting area for RIPTA passengers.
Scott Avedisian, RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer, said that the temporary closings are part of the state’s ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Avedisian said that he will monitor the closings and determine when the locations will reopen.
Avedisian stressed that any passengers who hold no fare or reduced fare passes slated to expire this month do not need to worry or come in for renewal because the expiration deadlines are being extended by at least one month.
The passes for the No Fare Bus Pass Program – which is for low-income persons who also are either senior citizens or have a disability – typically expire on the passholder’s birthday. The same is true for persons in the Reduced Fare program, which is available to seniors and persons with disabilities regardless of income. Avedisian said he will revisit the extension of the expiration deadlines before the start of April and will keep the public informed. Since the expired bus passes will not work at the farebox, those passengers will need to show their passes to the driver when boarding.