The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that it will close the customer service ticket window in the transit hub building at Kennedy Plaza beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and until further notice. Passengers are advised to use the ticket vending machines outside at the Plaza to purchase their fare products. RIPTA also announced that any passengers who hold No Fare or Reduced Fare bus passes that are slated to expire this month do not need to come in for renewal as the expiration dates will be extended by at least one month.
RIPTA announced these steps as part of the state’s concerted effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
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 pass holder’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. RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Avedisian said that the deadlines will be extended by a least a month, and RIPTA will revisit the extension before the start of April. Since the expired bus passes will not work at the farebox, those passengers will need to show their passes to the driver when boarding.
Last week, RIPTA announced that as part of its commitment to the citizens of Rhode Island, it is increasing the cleaning and disinfecting of all vehicles and bus facilities. All public areas are being disinfected on a regular basis using EPA-approved and CDC-endorsed disinfectants. Surfaces cleaned on buses include seats, windows, grab rails, steps, and more.