RIDOT Announces Last Day of Service for Temporary Bristol to Providence Ferry

The RIDOT announced today that the temporary ferry service connecting Bristol to Providence will cease operations on Friday, January 19. The decision comes following an evaluation of ridership data, indicating that it is now appropriate to conclude the service. RIDOT exercised its two-week advance notice agreement with the three ferry service providers – SeaStreak, Rhode Island Fast Ferry, and the Block Island Ferry.

RIDOT Director, Peter Alviti, Jr., highlighted the initial purpose of implementing the ferry service, stating, “We implemented the ferries as part of a multi-modal solution to the Washington Bridge event. At the time of the closure, we needed to swiftly pursue all solutions to alleviate traffic, and we did just that. Now that the bypass lanes are open and conditions have improved, it is appropriate to phase out the ferry service.”

Alviti emphasized that the decision is backed by clear data, stating, “It is clear from the data that only a very small percentage of commuters utilized this service, and people are overwhelmingly choosing to utilize the bypass lanes. A service that is costing about $50,000 per day and attracting only 300 to 400 passengers per day is not economically sustainable.”

Since its inauguration on December 21, the ferry service has transported 3,285 passengers over 12 operating days (as of the end of January 3, with no service on Christmas or New Year’s Day).

RIDOT had engaged SeaStreak, Rhode Island Fast Ferry, and the Block Island Ferry to provide free ferry service to assist travelers affected by the closure of the westbound side of the Washington Bridge.

The ferry will maintain its regular schedule through January 19, operating seven days a week at half-hour intervals from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Schedule information is available at www.bristolprovidenceferry.com.




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