RIPTA cancels proposed service reductions

June 7, 2024
RIPTA will not be implementing proposed service reductions that were meant to recalibrate RIPTA schedules with the level of service it can consistently run.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has decided that it will not move forward with previously proposed service reductions, which were scheduled to go into effect on June 15, 2024, as part of the agency’s seasonal service adjustments.

The RIPTA Board of Directors was asked by Christopher Durand, RIPTA interim CEO, to not act on the proposed service reductions at the April board meeting, stating the agency was aggressively working to recruit new drivers.

“Our priority is always to provide reliable and accessible transit services for our passengers,” Durand said. “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 meant to recalibrate RIPTA schedules with the level of service it can consistently run so that service is accurate and reliable for passengers. With the cancellation of service reductions, passengers may see 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 said.

RIPTA will use Transit app and Google Maps to notify passengers in case of cancelled trips related to its driver shortage, aiming to improve service reliability for all riders. While RIPTA’s goal is to never miss a trip, sometimes the agency must cancel a trip due to driver availability. When that happens, passengers can check Transit App to see if a trip has been cancelled and plan accordingly.

RIPTA says riders will know a trip has been cancelled when the departure time has a real-time symbol but is turned grey and is crossed out. 

“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,” Durand said.