RIPTA to Hold Statewide Public Hearings on Proposed Service Changes

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is set to conduct public hearings from February 12 to 15, February 19, and February 21, 2024, to discuss proposed service changes across all five counties in Rhode Island. The Authority cites a long-standing driver shortage as the primary reason behind the statewide reductions in service, emphasizing that this issue is unrelated to the proposed FY2025 budget.

Despite ongoing efforts to recruit new drivers, RIPTA continues to grapple with a rapid rate of retirements, outpacing their ability to replenish the workforce. The Authority is actively collaborating with the Amalgamated Transit Union to address this challenge. This shortage, reflective of a national trend affecting transit agencies, directly impacts the level of service RIPTA can provide, necessitating a recalibration of schedules to ensure accuracy and reliability for passengers.

The proposed service changes are data-driven, focusing on the lowest-performing routes and trip times. Resource redistribution aims to enhance service on high-performing routes while making necessary adjustments to others. The changes are expected to affect thirty-three regular bus routes, involving route eliminations, service frequency reductions, and increases on select routes.

ADA service, offered within a ¾ mile corridor of fixed-route service, will also be affected by the proposed changes, resulting in reductions wherever routes or segments are eliminated.

Scott Avedisian, RIPTA CEO, explained that the goal is to consistently meet 100% of scheduled service, necessitating prudent changes given the current workforce challenges. A new starting wage for drivers is being explored in collaboration with the union to attract and retain talent.

Avedisian emphasized that aligning staffing levels with the service RIPTA can consistently provide will eliminate missed trips and improve the passenger experience. Plans are in place to reinstate service based on ridership and Transit Master Plan goals once the workforce is significantly increased.

Public hearings will specifically address proposed changes to routes, including eliminations and alterations to trip frequency and times. The changes are slated for approval by the Board of Directors on February 22, 2024, with the effective date set for Saturday, April 6, 2024. Passengers seeking more information can visit

The proposed service changes are as follows:

Increase in Trip Frequency or Number of Trips

Route 51 (Charles St./Twin River/CCRI)

Route 54 (Lincoln/Woonsocket)

Route 72 (Weeden/Central Falls)

Route 92 (East Side/Federal Hill/RI College)


Trip Time Changes for Better Service Reliability

Route 14 (West Bay)

Route 16 (Bald Hill /New England Tech)

Route 21 (Reservoir/Malls/ CCRI)

Route 58 (Mineral Spring/North Providence)

Route 72 (Weeden/Central Falls)

Route 92 (East Side/Federal Hill/RI College)

Regular Route Eliminations

Route QX (Quonset Express)

Route 10x (North Scituate Park-n-Ride)

Route 12x (Arctic/117 Express Park-n-Ride)

Route 23 (Arctic/Crompton/Centre of NE)

Route 59x (North Smithfield/Lincoln Mall)

Route 61x (Tiverton/East Bay Park-n-Ride)

Route 68 (CCRI Newport/Memorial Blvd./First Beach)

Route 73 (Mineral Spring/Twin River/CCRI)

Route 76 (Central Ave.)

Route 80 (Armistice Blvd.)

Route 88 (Simmons Village Service)


Route Segment Eliminations                                      Eliminated Segment

Route 6 (Prairie Ave./CCRI/RW Zoo)                        This route will no longer serve Colony House

Route 14 (West Bay)                                                       North Kingstown to Narragansett (Saturday only)

Route 16 (Bald Hill /New England Tech)                 New England Tech to Quonset

Route 58 (Mineral Spring/North Providence)       Mineral Spring to Rte. 146 (one trip affected)


Elimination of Saturday Service  

Route 18 (Union Ave.)

Route 58 (Mineral Spring/North Providence)

Route 64 (Newport/URI/Kingston Station)


Elimination of Sunday Service  

Route 4 (Warwick Ave./West Shore)

Route 16 (Bald Hill /New England Tech)

Route 71 (Broad St./Central Falls)

Route 69 (URI/Galilee)


Elimination of All Weekend Service       

Route 6 (Prairie Ave./CCRI/RW Zoo)

Route 13 (Coventry/Arctic/CCRI)

Route 29 (CCRI Warwick/Conimicut)

Route 30 (Arlington/Oaklawn)

Route 75 (Dexter/Lincoln Mall)


Reduction in Trip Frequency or Number of Trips

Route 6 (Prairie Ave./CCRI/RW Zoo)

Route 9x (Pascoag Express)

Route 16 (Bald Hill /New England Tech)

Route 18 (Union Ave.)

Route 21 (Reservoir/Malls/CCRI)

Route 65x (Wakefield Express)

Route 87 (Fairmount/Walnut Hill)

Route 95x (Westerly Express)




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