Six ways to use—and improve—our state's public transportation system
- Make RIPTA rides part of your routine, and give RIPTA feedback on their service
- Use RIPTA’s Park and Ride lots to shorten your car commute
- Comment on Rhode Island’s Long-Term Transportation Plan, now in development
- Ask your employer for public transit incentives—or be the employer who offers them
- Encourage large institutions and businesses to adopt a bus route as a community service
- Demand better snow clearance of bus stops and sidewalks from your town or city
Taking the bus allows us to avoid the stress of driving, to extend the useful life of our vehicles, and to minimize wear and tear on roads and bridges. It reduces traffic by reducing the number of cars on the road. The less time we spend isolated in our cars, the more we reduce emissions and have opportunities to know our fellow Rhode Islanders.
Household: Use RIPTA’s trip planner to plot out bus routes for the trips you make most often. If you use a smartphone, Transit tells you when the next RIPTA bus is coming to your stop. RIPTA takes cash: a full adult fare is $2.00, and a transfer to another route is $1.00. You can also buy bus tickets and passes ahead of time online. See if there’s a Park and Ride served by RIPTA near you. RIPTA offers some free/low-cost options for seniors and people with disabilities: https://www.ripta.com/seniors.
As you ride, pay attention to what would make your experience—or those of your fellow-passengers—easier and better. Take advantage of RIPTA’s Customer Service page to offer feedback.
Community action: Rhode Island is currently working on its Long-Range Transportation Plan. Write to the planners to tell them how urgently we need to reduce fossil fuel emissions and how important good public transportation is to that reduction: http://www.planri.com/getinvolved.asp. Some ideas: a comprehensive statewide transportation plan focused on reducing wasteful traffic while building community; stable funding for public transportation from a gas tax indexed to inflation, user fees (tolls), a “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) fee, and taxes on vehicles that do not meet fuel efficiency standards).