Transportation

Headline:

The MBTA commuter rail started serving the new Pawtucket/Central Falls train station; many RIPTA bus lines serving Pawtucket now stop at the station, and not the old transportation center.

Last-reviewed: 2pm, Jan. 25, 2023

Key Resources:

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

The Basics

  • Several RIPTA bus lines will stop at the new Pawtucket/Central Falls train station; the T started serving the Pawtucket/Central Falls station on January 23.
  • The RIPTA Photo ID Office, where passengers can process their reduced fare bus pass applications, is now (starting January 17) open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm.
  • RIPTA announced a new pilot no fare bus pass for older adults (65 and older) and people with disabilities. More here
  • As of September 1, the R-line is free to ride.
  • Masks are optional for RIPTA passengers.
  • Some RIPTA offices remain closed. More information here.
  • RIPTA bus riders can take the bus free out of Central Falls.
  • Starting July 2023, the DMV will be able to let undocumented Rhode Islanders who can verify they’ve filed their taxes as a state resident or have been a dependent to someone who does in the prior year apply for driving privileges.
  • 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, as alternatives to RIDOT’s Multi-Hub Bus System.
  • RI Transit Riders is an advocacy organization by and for Rhode Islanders who use public transit, including RIPTA.

The Breakdown

Public Transportation
  • A new pilot program will offer free fares for people experiencing houselessness who are not otherwise eligible for free bus passes. RIPTA will work with community action programs, Mathewson Church and other organizations to distribute bus passes. More information here.
  • As part of a year-long pilot, the R-line will be free to ride. The R-line is RIPTA’s highest ridership route. More information here.
  • RIPTA is conducting a paratransit expansion study that will inform the design of a statewide paratransit service. The public is invited to participate in virtual meetings on November 16 and 17th to share their input. More information here.
  • Through March 7, 2023, the Ride Free in Central Falls program offers free rides on RIPTA’s buses to riders who start their trips in Central Falls.

Resources

  • 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.