RIPTA Working To Resolve Issue That Has Also Affected Communications
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) said today that it is experiencing communication and computer issues, following a cybersecurity issue late last week. RIPTA stressed that it has continued uninterrupted transit service with its fixed-route, Flex, and paratransit programs as it continues to work with professional consultants to resolve the issues. RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian noted that the primary system that RIPTA uses to store internal employee files and maintain most operations has not been affected.
“There are specifics that we cannot not discuss at the moment, but we want the public to know that our buses are fully operational and that we thank people for their patience,” Avedisian said. Furthermore, he noted that RIPTA does not keep any passenger financial information in house, so that information should remain secure.
“We are methodically working to determine which systems were impacted by the disruption,” he said. “We are working to restore these systems as quickly and as safely as possible and we will alert the public when we are fully back online.”
Avedisian said that none of RIPTA’s safety systems – including vehicle maintenance – have been compromised and the transit authority is still able to conduct daily financial operations. “In that respect, we are fully operational,” he said.
The main impact on passengers has been with the Wave smart fare payment system, particularly the mobile app, which has not been functioning properly since late last week.
Avedisian said that issues with the Wave app are being addressed as quickly as possible and that he has been told that passengers will not lose any prepaid products or balances in their accounts. In the meantime, drivers have been instructed to let passengers board with Wave mobile apps, even if they are not yet functioning. RIPTA’s computerized phone lines are not yet fully operational and email access has not yet been restored.
“We are working as quickly as possible with our own IT Department and professional consultants to restore all of our systems in a safe manner,” Avedisian said. “We understand that it’s been a frustrating couple of days for people who have not been able to reach us, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” he said. “We have remained operational throughout this incident and will continue to get people where they need to go. Thank you again to the public and our employees.”