RIPTA

RIPR FILE PHOTO

Providence Police arrested a former public bus driver, accused of stealing bus fares. The driver has been charged with felony embezzlement.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is launching its first ever Bike to Work Week Monday to encourage greener commuting. 


RIPR File Photo

Starting Monday, anyone taking Peter Pan or Greyhound buses will have to board in front of the Rhode Island Convention Center on Sabin Street.

Courtesy of RIDOT

As plans to build a new transportation hub in Providence move forward, Rhode Islanders told transportation officials the amenities they’re looking for at a meeting Thursday evening. The proposed center would connect bus and train services.

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Free bus rides for seniors and disabled Medicaid users end Wednesday. These riders will now pay fifty cents a ride. But the state Department of Elderly Affairs may be able to help offset some of the cost.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Jan. 31

Jan 31, 2017
Miriam Hospital

 What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Jan. 31:

OBAMACARE: Today is the last day to sign up for an Obamacare plan on HealthSource RI if you want to be covered this year. It’s not clear what will happen to Obamacare or the health insurance exchanges, but there have been reports that people who sign up for coverage on the exchanges for this year may be able to keep that coverage.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Beginning in February, low-income seniors and disabled Rhode Islanders will pay 50 cents to ride Rhode Island Public Transit buses.

RIPTA will continue its free bus pass program for low income seniors and disabled people through the end of January. The public transit authority says the extension is designed to give riders a chance to adjust to the new fare schedule.

Beginning in February, low income seniors and the disabled will pay fifty cents a ride. Riders have protested the fare increase. But RIPTA authorities say the program has grown so big it's financially unsustainable. 

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The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is conducting a survey to better plan for future route or fare changes. The survey includes questions about customers’ riding habits, as well as their reasons for using the service.

RIPTA spokeswoman Barbara Polichetti said they already know how many people board buses, but that’s just one portion of the data. Through the surveys, RIPTA hopes to acquire more detailed information about their riders.

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There have been three press-conferences over the past two days offering competing plans for dealing with homelessness, panhandling, and drug use in downtown Providence. Thursday, the mayor offered his vision.

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The team will support Providence police already stationed there. The security team began work in downtown Providence at the start of July. The transit authority has hired the Allied Barton security firm. Workers will be posted at Kennedy plaza seven days a week. They are uniformed, but unarmed.

Kennedy Plaza is one of the busiest bus hubs in the state. Recently the plaza underwent a major renovation, which opened up the space and installed security cameras.

RIPR file photo

Downtown Providence will be busy this weekend with a major music festival, RISD commencement and the Southern New England Heart Walk. Most of the streets in central downtown will be closed to cars and bus routes will change to accommodate all the activity.

Street closures begin with a few smaller roads on Friday, and by Saturday, most of central downtown will turn pedestrian. That includes several major arteries in and around Kennedy Plaza, the state's largest public transit hub.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority plans to re-locate all bus stops.

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Rhode Island Transit officials announced the creation of a new bus corridor through downtown Providence. The 1.4 mile transit project replaces the now-scrapped city streetcar project. 

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The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority voted Monday to end a program offering free bus service to low-income, elderly and disabled passengers. Starting in July, those passengers will pay up to 50 cents, or a quarter of the current standard bus fare of $2.

The decision was a compromise of sorts. Riders' advocacy groups said any increase would be too steep for the thousands of struggling Rhode Islanders who rely on  free bus service. But RIPTA officials pushed back, saying the number of people riding for free was unsustainable on the current operating budget.

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  The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority board is set to vote Monday on a controversial new proposal that would eliminate no-fare passes for some rides. The issue has faced vocal opposition.

Currently, seniors and some people with disabilities qualify for free bus services through RIPTA. Under the proposed change, those currently eligible for the free passes would have to pay half fare, or one dollar.

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