RIPTA summer schedules begin on June 17.

Last-reviewed: 12pm, Aug. 23, 2023

Key Resources:

  • Public transportation: RIPTA
  • RIde transit for people with disabilities – RIde
  • Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): MTM

The Basics

  • The MBTA started serving the Pawtucket/Central Falls station on January 23; many Pawtucket busses stop here now. RIPTA has extended fare-free rides originating in Central Falls to include rides originating at the Pawtucket/Central Falls train station.
  • The RIPTA Photo ID Office at Kennedy Plaza, where passengers can process their reduced fare bus pass applications, is currently closed. RIPTA riders may download and mail in applications or try visiting the office on Elmwood Avenue. More information here.
  • RIPTA announced a new pilot no fare bus pass for older adults (65 and older) and people with disabilities. More here
  • The R-line is free to ride.
  • Starting July 2023, the DMV will issue driving privilege cards to undocumented Rhode Islanders who are eligible. One of the requirements for eligibility is that applicants will need to have filed taxes for the prior year; this is another good reason to refer patients/clients to a VITA location for tax preparation assistance.
  • Numerous transit expansions and plans for Kennedy Plaza have been proposed, such as Transit Forward’s RI Transit Master Plan and Imagine Downtown’s plan.
  • RI Transit Riders is an advocacy organization by and for Rhode Islanders who use public transit, including RIPTA.

The Breakdown

Public Transportation
  • As part of a pilot program that has been extended, the R-line is free to ride through September 2023. Beginning in October, fares will once again begin on this line. The R-line is RIPTA’s highest ridership route. A recent report discusses the success of this trial.
  • RIPTA rides originating in Central Falls, and now the Pawtucket/Central Falls transit center, are free through December 2023. Riders need to have the Wave card or app on their phone. More information here.
  • Paratransit is available to people unable to use the bus but who live near a bus line. More information here.


  • Reduced fare programs are available to eligible RIPTA riders.
    • RIPTA offers a reduced fare bus pass program for low-income seniors (age 65 or over) and low-income persons with disabilities. See here
    • Military veterans who need transportation support are encouraged to contact the Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services (RIVETS). See here
  • People with disabilities can schedule rides through the RIde program if they live near a regular RIPTA bus route.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)
  • MTM, the state vendor for NEMT for Medicaid patients, continues to provide transportation for essential medical appointments. 
    • RIPIN can also offer support for NEMT-related questions.
  • MTM will also continue to offer reimbursements for caregivers providing transportation for Medicaid patients.
  • Transportation to COVID-19 testing sites: MTM has policies and procedures in place to transport Medicaid and those individuals who qualify for the Elderly Transportation Program (ETP).
    • This transportation is available only if there is no other means of transport, and other eligibility criteria has been met. Eligible individuals can call: 1-855-330-9131.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help patients navigate medical and non-medical transportation systems. CHWs can also share their professional experiences to advocate for systems changes that improve people’s health.