Lawmakers to highlight free-fare pilot program
on RIPTA’s R-Line
STATE HOUSE — Members of the General Assembly and other community leaders will hold a press conference tomorrow, Thursday, June 23, at 1 p.m. to highlight a year-long free-fare pilot program along the R-Line, RIPTA’s busiest bus route.
The press conference will be held on the Exchange Street side of Kennedy Plaza, across from the Federal Building and Courthouse.
“I am thrilled with our free-fare pilot program for the R-Line, which is the most used route in the state,” said Sen. Meghan E. Kallman (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence). “Public transit is a public good – it is the glue that holds communities together. What’s more, transportation-related emissions make up about a third of the emissions in the Northeast. And so from both a climate and a community perspective, this is a critically important issue. Free transit is a crucial stepping-stone towards many simultaneous and interconnected goals: environmental and social justice and equity, emissions reductions, and a healthy and thriving local economy. Having free public transit across our state will help rid our streets of congestion and give a boost to businesses. Scrapping the bus fare would be a windfall to many of the families who spend a good part of their income on transportation. I believe that residents should be able to move freely around this state, regardless of income bracket.”
Sen. Kallman and Rep. Leonela “Leo” Felix (D-Dist. 61, Pawtucket), who have sponsored legislation regarding free RIPTA service, will discuss the free-fare pilot and the importance of public transit.
They will be joined by:
- General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
- RI AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley
- RIPTA Public Information Officer Cristy Raposo Perry
The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Senator Kallman (2022-S 2015A) authorizing the year-long free-fare pilot, which will take effect Sept. 1, 2022. The state budget agreement reached for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes funding for the pilot program. RIPTA’s R-Line runs from Pawtucket to Cranston via Downtown Providence.