600 Low-Income and/or Unhoused Rhode Islanders

Will Receive a RIPTA No Fare Bus Pass

Under New Six-Month Pilot Program

 

Providence, Rhode Island, November 3, 2022 -- The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is piloting a new no fare bus pass program for six months to understand the travel needs of low-income individuals who do not qualify for existing transit assistance programs. Under the current structure of RIPTA’s No Fare Bus Pass Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities, applicants must be age 65 or older or have a qualifying disability and must also have an income less than 200% of the poverty threshold. Applicants that meet the income threshold, but neither the age nor the disability threshold, receive no benefit under existing RIPTA programs. This new six-month pilot program is meant to address this gap.

 

“Increasing access to transportation is a crucial goal. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of this important pilot program that will help improve public transportation, especially for our most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Dan McKee.

 

On October 19, 2022, the RIPTA Board of Directors voted to create a pilot program that will span six months and give 600 passes to agencies that service low-income, including unhoused, individuals.

 

RIPTA will work with the Rhode Island Association of Community Action Agencies, along with Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and Crossroads Rhode Island to distribute pilot program bus passes fairly and equitably throughout the state.

 

“RIPTA is committed to removing barriers to transportation for Rhode Islanders, especially those who are low-income or unhoused.” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA Chief Executive Officer. “This pilot program is an example of our commitment to making sure that everyone in our state has equitable access to public transportation. We look forward to reviewing the information we learn over the next six months and sharing it with our elected officials.”

 

“This program could be a significant help and game changer for people who are experiencing homelessness and who lack reliable transportation to access the services they need to get back on their feet,” said Michelle Wilcox, President of Crossroads Rhode Island and RIPTA Board Member. “This would potentially reach those in the greatest need.”

 

This pilot program is only for Rhode Island residents who do not qualify for an existing RIPTA discounted fare program. The following organizations are participating in this pilot program:

 

Rhode Island Association Community Action Agencies is a trade association for a statewide network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) who, for over fifty years, have been the safety net for economically disadvantaged and working individuals and families. Independently and collectively the CAA Agencies are working to eliminate the causes and effects of poverty and to open doors to self-sufficiency and better lives for more than 185,000 Individuals and 90,000 Households.

Additional Non-Profit Organizations:

 

 

For more information on this pilot program, please visit RIPTA.com/NoFarePilot.

 

For more information RIPTA services, passengers can call 401-781-9400 or visit RIPTA.com.

 

Congress will receive classified briefings today on the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina. An F-22 U.S. military jet shot down the balloon on Saturday using a Sidewinder missile. Fox News says House lawmakers will be briefed on the incident at 8am Eastern. Senators will be briefed later in the day.        President Biden says Russian leader Vladimir Putin has "already lost Ukraine." Biden gave an interview with PBS on Wednesday and said there's "no way" Russia will succeed in its occupation of Ukraine. The President also said American aid to Ukraine is open-ended, and called it vital.        A new study suggests that over 600 doctors may have died of COVID-related causes in the early days of the pandemic. The study from Stanford University claims there was "excess mortality" among U.S. physicians from March of 2020 to December of 21, and that over 600 more doctors died than may have been expected.        The Alex Murdaugh double murder trial will resume this morning. The South Carolina lawyer is accused of fatally shooting his wife and son in June of 2021 on their estate in Moselle. Yesterday the trial ended early after the courthouse was evacuated because of a bomb threat.        A father and son who were apart for two years after illegally crossing the U.S. border are suing the government over their separation. The two Guatemalans filed a lawsuit in Illinois last week seeking damages for emotional distress and negligence. The father and his then 16-year-old son crossed the border into Texas in 2018 and were separated after they were caught.        A new study says Boston is the best city for dating this Valentine's Day. The ticketing website Eventbrite ranked cities based on how many dating events they hold, and Boston came in at number one followed by New York City. Philadelphia came in at number three on the list, followed by Denver and Seattle.