Statewide Hackathon Gives RIPTA A Boost! Last month, dozens of self-proclaimed Geeks hunkered down at Times2 Stem Academy in Providence to spend the

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Statewide Hackathon Gives RIPTA A Boost!

Last month, dozens of self-proclaimed Geeks hunkered down at Times2 Stem Academy in Providence to spend the greater part of a weekend using their brain power to come up with apps that will help public transit passengers in Rhode Island.

They were taking part in the State’s #HackRI Hackathon which focused on “Revolutionizing RIPTA.” Participants were provided access to RIPTA’s real-time data feed which uses GPS technology to show where buses are on their routes. Fueled by lots of snacks, and even more caffeine, the programmers used the data to develop prototype apps that would be able to show RIPTA customers when their bus would arrive in real time, not just the scheduled time. Many made their projects even more elaborate with some using the GPS on smart phones to enable people to find out what bus routes were near their location and others generating texts to alert passengers that their bus was getting close.

“We were so impressed,” said Barbara Polichetti, Director of Public Affairs for RIPTA. “There are many transit apps on the market, but a lot of the hackathon participants added their own touches and enhancements – all of which would either benefit our customers or our own ability to collect and synthesis data from our buses. To us, they are all winners.” She said that the next step will be for RIPTA to follow up with some of the participants to see if their prototypes can be implemented on a large scale.

The hackathon was organized by the State of Rhode Island Office of Innovation, RIPTA, IntraCity Geeks and MojoTech.

Click here to view photos from the event.

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RIPTA SCHEDULES 2017 COMMUNITY SITE VISITS FOR BUS PASS PROGRAM FOR SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Every week, RIPTA’s Photo Identification staff travel to communities throughout the state to provide bus passes to qualified seniors and individuals with disabilities, who are unable to get to our offices in downtown Providence. The Photo ID Office is open at Kennedy Plaza on Monday and Wednesday of each week. It will be open Tuesday and Thursday of each week at RIPTA’s headquarters at 705 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. Operational hours will be the same at both locations: from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 p.m. Both locations will be closed all day every Friday to provide photo identification “road trip” services around the state.

Click here for the 2017 Community Site Visit Schedule for the Reduced Bus Pass Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities.

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WINTER WEATHER PREPARATION

During periods of heavy snow and ice, buses, like personal vehicles, will sometimes fall behind schedule, but rest assured operators will be working to reach your stop as soon as possible. Plan extra time for your commute. Take an earlier trip. Buses not only get slowed down by the snow, but also by surrounding traffic. Allowing for extra time is the best way to get around during winter weather travel.

Passengers are always advised to use extreme caution at bus stops due to decreased visibility and slippery conditions.

Passengers are strongly advised to monitor news reports, check www.RIPTA.com and RIPTA’s social media outlets (Facebook @RideRIPTA, Twitter @RIPTA_RI) for service advisory updates. RIPTA urges passengers to sign up for electronic News Updates at http://www.ripta.com/detours-news; RIPTA will e-mail system disruption notices to passengers on this distribution list.

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WIN THE FAMILY VACATION OF A LIFETIME!

Attention New England NuRide members - you have a chance to win a Winter Vacation for Family of Four to Smugglers' Notch Vermont! Enter for your chance to win a spectacular Winter Vacation package for a family of four from Smugglers' Notch Vermont which includes 3-days/3-nights lodging, lift tickets, group ski or snowboard lessons, indoor pool, and unlimited FunZone access! How? Simply cash in your NuRide points for a virtual raffle ticket!

The prize is worth over $2,000 and the contest runs until Monday, January 23, 2017.

Haven’t signed up yet? What are you waiting for?! Get FREE rewards with NuRide - the nation’s largest commuter rewards program!

This program rewards individuals who take greener trips, which include walking, biking, telecommuting, carpooling, vanpooling, or taking public transportation. It’s completely free and easy to do! Log on now to www.NuRide.com to get started. Get points for going green and then cash in your points for really cool rewards like a Free Appetizer with Entrée at P.F. Chang's Providence Place!

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2017

RIPTA TO RUN SUNDAY/HOLIDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017

RIPTA will operate all fixed-route bus service on a Sunday/Holiday schedule on Sunday, January 1, 2017 in observance of New Year’s Day.

Click here for details.

RIPTA TO RUN SUNDAY/HOLIDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE ON MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2017

RIPTA will operate all fixed-route services on a Sunday/Holiday schedule on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Click here for details.

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RIPTA IN THE COMMUNITY

THANK YOU FOR BRIGHTENING A CHILD’S HOLIDAY

RIPTA harnessed our holiday spirit to give back to those in need – and wear our “ugly” sweaters. Thanks to everyone - from RIPTA and RIde employees to passengers and members of the community - who generously opened their hearts and donated to our Annual Toy Drive. The toys and teddy bears collected for the West End Community Center will put smiles on the faces of underprivileged children in our community.

Special thank you to our sponsors – 95.5 WBRU, Providence College, Brown University and University of Rhode Island for helping make this a success!

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