August 16, 2016

Press Releases

It’s our birthday!

Created by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1964, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) began operations on July 1, 1966, making this our 50th anniversary year.  Before then, the state had been served by a patchwork of private companies and a variety of vehicle types as public transit grew up with America. From horse-drawn omnibuses during the Civil War to railroad cars and electric trolleys decades later, the goal was always to get Rhode Islanders where they need to go as quickly, economically and safely as possible.   This goal is still at the heart of RIPTA’s operations as it celebrates the history of public transportation in Rhode Island and looks toward limitless opportunities for the future.

“For us, this landmark anniversary year will mostly be about finding ways to thank our passengers and commemorating our history,” said Barbara Polichetti, RIPTA’s Director of Public Affairs.  One of the most noticeable things that people will see, she said, are several specially wrapped buses that feature an anniversary logo and historical photographic images.  “These buses are really eye-catching and we think people are going to love seeing them on the road,” she said.  “More importantly, we hope to use them for some passenger promotions and people should stay tuned throughout the year.”  The anniversary buses will begin showing up on routes throughout the state this week, Polichetti said, adding that throughout the year RIPTA will have more commemorative items such as special anniversary t-shirts, and more.

“A lot has been accomplished at RIPTA over the past 50 years and there is even more progress to be made,” said Raymond Studley, RIPTA’s CEO.  “We’ve seen gas prices skyrocket and plummet, we’ve seen a renaissance in our capital city and we’ve seen changing travel demands from younger and older passengers alike.  Here, in our 50th anniversary year, RIPTA is excited to be working on a number of exciting projects that will help move our state forward – from creating an enhanced transit corridor in downtown Providence to working to find creative ways to serve sprawling developments such as Quonset Business Park.  We’ve learned that one size does not fit all, and that is why RIPTA is committed to promoting many different kinds of travel – whether it’s bus, rail, carpooling or vanpooling – that are economical, ecological alternatives to single occupancy vehicles.

“We’re proud of our past and excited about the future,” Studley said.  “Most of all, we are appreciative of our passengers.  It has been our honor and privilege to serve this state for the past 50 years.” 

RIPTA would like to thank media and business partners that donated time, materials and talent to help us with our anniversary promotions. Special thanks to: GLAD WORKS, Cox Media Group, WPRI Channel 12, The Rhode Show, Coast 93.3, B101, 94HJY, News Radio 920, Direct Media USA, PriMedia, and Atom Media Group.

For more information RIPTA services, please visit or call 781-9400.

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