RIPTA Encourages Passengers to Use Wave Fare System In Lieu of Online Purchases and Ticket Vending Machines

February 15, 2021

Press Releases

Cash Passengers Can Still Buy Paper Fare Products on the Bus

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is reminding customers that fixed-route fare products are no longer being sold on  and that the ticket vending machines at Kennedy Plaza in Providence and the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center have been deactivated.  Instead, RIPTA is excited to encourage passengers to switch to Wave – its new, smart fare collection system with easy options for passengers who use either cash or credit.  Launched in September 2020, the Wave system gives passengers the option of paying their bus fare with either a reloadable smart card or a new mobile app, and is already being used by thousands of RIPTA customers.  

Wave allows passengers to use online accounts to easily purchase products or simply add value to their Wave smart card or mobile app.  Passengers who would like to reload their Wave smart cards using cash, will soon be able to do so at a growing network of retail locations which will be announced shortly. Having a Wave card or mobile app also provides contactless boarding –  passengers just have to tap their Wave card or scan their mobile app on new validators that have been installed on all RIPTA buses.

Passengers who have not yet transitioned to Wave can still buy tickets and passes previously offered online and at the ticket vending machines on the bus and at many supermarkets. Passengers who use RIPTA’s paratransit program, RIde, can continue to purchase their fare products online.

RIPTA officials noted that there are many advantages to having a registered Wave account, such as never having to worry about lost fare products, auto reloads, balance transfers and being able to track your trip history.  Also, passengers get credit for trips take with the “Earn As You Go” feature. Wave keeps track of their trips, so they never have to pay more than they need to.  Once a passenger spends $6 in a single day – the price of a Day Pass – they will be not charged again that day no matter how many times they ride.  The same is true for RIPTA’s Monthly Pass, which costs $70.  Once a passenger spends that amount in a calendar month, they are not charged for any additional rides for the rest of that month.

“There are so many benefits to riding with Wave,” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Passengers can buy just what they want, when they want.  There’s no need to search for cash or remember to buy products ahead of time online.  You can access your Wave account anywhere you have connectivity and buy what you need.”   

Greg Nordin, RIPTA’s Chief of Strategic Advancement, said, “The retail network we are putting in place will give similar convenience to passengers who prefer to use cash. This really is the future of transit fare collection systems and we are happy to be offering it to our passengers.” 

Passengers can start riding with Wave by downloading the new Wave app, which is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices, or by obtaining a Wave smart card for free directly from . More details, including an instructional video, are available at

The paper products previously offered online and at the ticket vending machines are the Day Pass, 7 Day Pass and the 10 Ride Pass. Currently, these fixed-route fare products can still be purchased on board RIPTA buses, at Shaw’s and Stop & Shop Supermarkets, and Eastside Marketplace. Passengers should call non-RIPTA sales outlets before their visit to confirm that the fare product they intend to purchase is sold on site.

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