RIPTA Reverses Planned Service Reductions Amid Driver Recruitment Efforts

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that it will not proceed with the previously proposed service reductions that were set to take effect on Saturday, June 15, 2024, as part of its seasonal service adjustments.

At the April Board meeting, Interim Chief Executive Officer Christopher Durand urged the RIPTA Board of Directors to halt the service reductions, citing the Authority’s vigorous efforts to recruit new drivers.

“Our priority is always to provide reliable and accessible transit services for our passengers,” said Durand. “While we face challenges with the current driver shortage, we recognize the critical role that public transit plays in the lives of our community. By officially cancelling these service reductions and focusing on hiring new drivers, we aim to maintain our commitment to our passengers. We are dedicated to building a robust workforce to ensure that our transit services meet the needs of everyone who relies on RIPTA every day.”

The proposed service reductions were intended to align RIPTA’s schedules with its available resources, ensuring consistent and reliable service for passengers. With the cancellation of these reductions, there may be an increase in cancelled trips as RIPTA continues to onboard new drivers.

“We ask for patience and understanding from our passengers as they will see an increase in missed trips as a result of us not moving forward with these service reductions,” Durand added.

To mitigate the impact of trip cancellations, RIPTA will use the Transit app and Google Maps to inform passengers. When a trip is cancelled due to driver availability, passengers can check the Transit app, where cancelled trips will appear with a real-time symbol that is greyed out and crossed out. This notification system aims to improve service reliability for all riders.

Durand expressed gratitude for the State’s support, saying, “We greatly appreciate the State’s commitment to public transit and are grateful for the financial support in the budget to address RIPTA’s operational financial deficit. Alongside this essential support, the legislation introduced on Friday contains the efficiency study recommended by the Governor, which will help RIPTA identify ways to address future budget deficits.”




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