The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that for the next six months it will continue free transportation for passengers enrolled in its program for low income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Citing additional funding in the new state budget, the Authority said it will now have more time to work with other state agencies to make sure that assistance programs that may help some passengers with the new reduced fare are in place. RIPTA is also extending the deadline for passengers in the program to get new identification cards that serve as passes when boarding the bus. Passengers will now have until September 1, 2016 to obtain the new passes, rather than July 1, 2016. All passengers in the reduced fare program are required to requalify.
“Overall this gives everyone more time,” Raymond Studley, RIPTA’s CEO, said of the new January 1, 2017 implementation date for the reduced fare. “Passengers will have more time to make sure they have their new passes, and we will continue to work with the Governor’s Office and other partner state agencies as they fine tune programs that will assist the appropriate clients with the new reduced fare.”
“We are sensitive to the fact that this program serves a population that is facing financial, health and other stressors in their lives,” Studley said. “We appreciate the work of the Governor and the General Assembly, and we are going to continue to work with our state and community partners to make sure the proper safety net programs are in place.”
Passengers can get their new identification cards at either the Customer Service Office at RIPTA’s headquarters, 705 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, or at 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. Specifics about the application process, copies of the applications and what documentation is required can be found at http://goo.gl/BiAyV1, or passengers may call Customer Service at 401-781-9400.