Photo via Seastreak

Providence-Newport Ferry Service Continues its Successful Debut: Sells Over 5,000 Tickets

The Providence-Newport ferry service continues to prove popular with Rhode Islanders and visitors alike, and has sold more than 5,000 tickets in its first 12 days, providing passengers a unique and convenient transportation option to one of Rhode Island’s most popular summer destinations. Additionally, RIDOT’s ferry operator, Seastreak, has indicated that roughly 30 percent of sales are from out-of-state.

Following its debut on the Fourth of July weekend, in which all of the morning trips to Newport were sold out, ridership remained high on sunny midweek days last week and this week with one weekday sellout out on July 6 and more than a half dozen trips that were close to capacity. And nearly 600 people took the ferry this past weekend despite inclement weather.

“We are excited at the success of the ferry in just its first couple of weeks,” Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “It shows that visitors are looking for an alternative and easier way to travel between the two cities that lets them enjoy beautiful Narragansett Bay while avoiding traffic and parking challenges.”

The ferry service has also garnered national attention, in coverage of news stories following its inaugural weekend and recently on the Weather Channel. The station highlighted Providence during its “Weekend Recharge” segment on affordable destinations, prominently mentioning the new ferry service and the ease of traveling between Providence and Newport.

To make it easier to plan trips to Newport or Providence on the new ferry, RIDOT announced it is now offering online ticketing and reservation services. Those wishing to take the ferry can visit www.dot.ri.gov/ferry to purchase tickets for round trip or one-way tickets. Tickets also can be bought by calling 1-800-BOAT-RIDE or at the ferry landings at either India Point Park in Providence or Perrotti Park in Newport.

RIDOT, in partnership with the R.I. Public Transit Authority, has upgraded its free Providence city shuttle to a larger-capacity trolley-style bus, which operates between the ferry, Providence Station, the Rhode Island Convention Center and Kennedy Plaza.

The seasonal ferry service runs seven days a week through September 5, with three round-trip excursions weekdays (Monday to Thursday), and four scheduled trips each Friday through Sunday. Fares are $10 for adults each way, and $5 for children, seniors, and those with disabilities. The trip time is one hour. Free, secure parking is available at the Providence landing.

The vessel, named the Ocean State, holds a maximum of 149 passengers and also includes bar service. Pets are welcome, and passengers can take their bikes on the ferry for free, but space is limited.

The new service is a pilot program, which will run through Labor Day. RIDOT will evaluate the ridership at the end of the season to determine the future expansion of the ferry service.


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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.