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RIPTA DELAYS IMPLEMENTATION OF REDUCED FARE FOR LOW-INCOME SENIORS AND PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES UNTIL FEBRUARY 1, 2017

December 19, 2016

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) announced today that free transportation for passengers enrolled in its program for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities will continue until February 1, 2017.  The new reduced fare was slated to go into effect on January 1st, but RIPTA’s Board of Directors decided Monday to delay implementation by one month. Board members acknowledged that the weeks right after the holiday season may be a difficult time to adjust for many riders.

The new fare for passengers in RIPTA’s Reduced Fare Bus Pass program will be one-fourth of the full fare price.  That means 50-cents per trip and an additional 25-cents if a transfer is needed. In order to qualify for this program, participants must be at least 65 years old and not have an annual income in excess of 200-percent of the federal poverty level or they must be certified as having a disability and also not have an annual income in excess of 200-percent of the federal poverty level. Specifics about the application process and examples of documentation required can be found at:  http://bit.ly/1iYyI5l.

The Board also mentioned that efforts between RIPTA and other state agencies are ongoing to balance RIPTA’s budget constraints with riders’ needs.

Under prior state law, RIPTA provided free transportation for low-income senior citizens and low-income persons with disabilities. That requirement was modified in the spring of 2015 when the General Assembly gave RIPTA the ability to charge up to half-fare for passengers in the program.  In December 2015, the Board of Directors voted to introduce a one-fourth fare rather than a half-fare after listening to public comment and reviewing public remarks made during public hearings.  The new fare was supposed to be implemented on July 1, 2016, but additional funding in the state budget allowed the transit authority to delay implementation until the first of the year.

 For more information on RIPTA’s programs and services, please visit ripta.com or call 401-781-9400.