2015 SNOW CHALLENGE! Although it seems like it has snowed just about every day this winter, it really hasn’t. We do get questions from people who wan

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This is pretty much what a RIPTA driver sees as they try to navigate tight city streets made even narrower by snow banks and parked cars!


Although it seems like it has snowed just about every day this winter, it really hasn’t. We do get questions from people who want to know why we are still running winter detours days after a storm has passed. So, we thought we’d explain a little bit about the some of the challenges we face in the winter – and particularly a severe winter like this!

Initially when there is a snowstorm, our first concern is the condition of the roads and whether it’s safe for our buses to travel. After the roads have been cleared, we face other challenges that can keep our buses on detour for weeks.

Mounds of snow from plows make some roads so narrow (particularly in densely-developed areas such as the East Side of Providence), that it’s simply not possible for our buses to maneuver safely. The problem is compounded when parking bans are lifted and cars line these narrow streets. Most people who drive have experienced the unsettling New England experience of navigating a road that is supposed to be two ways and then finding yourself in an unintentional game of chicken with an oncoming vehicle.

We give a lot of credit to our bus drivers who have to deal with the stress of winter driving conditions for weeks on end, and we also appreciate the patience of our passengers affected by the detours.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the problem is to include some photos that we shot in February as we accompanied Channel 12 news reporter Tatevik Aprikyan on board Route 92. Her news feature is a firsthand account of just how tough post-snowstorm driving is for RIPTA operators.

So please hang in there with us –– spring is coming!

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While smoking has long not been allowed at Kennedy Plaza under a state law, RIPTA is excited to announce that it will now easier to keep the area smoke free thanks to a new Providence ordinance that goes into effect March 11, 2015. Under the ordinance all Providence parks – including Kennedy Plaza and nearby Burnside Park – will be tobacco free.

The ordinance, which bans the sale and use of tobacco products, includes all neighborhood parks and Roger Williams Park as well. RIPTA leases the newly-renovated Kennedy Plaza from the city of Providence. A $50 fine will be issued for violations.

Providence now joins nearly one thousand other American cities and towns with smoke free parks, including Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.


Vanpooling: Comfort and Savings

Let’s face it, Americans love their cars, but some recent studies show that when given quality transportation options, many people choose not to drive.

That’s just one of the reasons that RIPTA’s Commuter Resource RI (CRRI) team is excited to announce Vanpooling as the latest transportation mode to soon join their portfolio of options and programs for commuters!

RIPTA is in the process of seeking proposals from qualified companies to provide vanpool services as part of a statewide pilot program. A vanpool is like a carpool, but usually with more people and a slightly larger vehicle like a van or an SUV. Typically, riders share the costs of commuting by paying an equitable monthly fare, but there are also subsidies available – either from the government or from certain vanpool companies – to reduce these costs. Often, vanpool companies provide the vehicles and cover associated costs such as insurance and maintenance, and that is the type of proposal RIPTA is currently seeking.

Vanpooling can benefit commuters in many ways including savings in fuel and insurance costs.

Passengers collaborate on schedules that best meet their work hours, and there are “guaranteed ride home” options which provide taxi cab vouchers for emergency instances when someone might need to leave work early.

The benefits to communities include less congestion on highways and secondary roads, and a reduction in automobile emissions.

Many vanpool members from across the country report that they find the commute to work more enjoyable, whether it be the comfort of the vehicle, the relief of not having to drive all the time, or the company of their colleagues.

Vanpools have also proven to be great transportation options for areas that may not be serviced by regular fixed-route buses. Many nearby states are using vanpooling to provide another layer of transportation options for residents.

Stay tuned!




RIPTA will detour Routes 60, 63 and 67 in Newport on Saturday, March 14, 2015 to accommodate the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Click here for details.


RIPTA will detour Routes 50, 55, 56 and 57 in Providence on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10 am to 2:30 pm to accommodate the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Service will resume with regularly scheduled trips after 2:30 pm.

Click here for details.

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