The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced on Monday the return of the Providence and Newport Ferry.
What’sUpNewp first reported about the ferry returning on May 11th – Providence to Newport Ferry to resume May 25.
The 2018 season has been expanded, with service starting on Friday, May 25, in time for Memorial Day weekend. It will run through Columbus Day Weekend (Monday, October 8). Also new this year are later ferries to coincide with WaterFire in Providence, allowing visitors to and residents of Newport County a hassle-free way to attend one of Rhode Island’s most popular events.
“The ferry has been a fantastic transportation option, giving Rhode Islanders a new way to take advantage of all that Newport and Providence have to offer. The expanded service is a testament to how successful the ferry service has been,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo in a news release. “Not only does the ferry offer a way to help control traffic during the busy summer tourism season, but it’s also a great way for families to see our beautiful state from a new vantage point.”
“The ferry is such a great way to travel between Providence and Newport, two of the best cities in New England,” said Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in a release. “Passengers have a terrific view of the Ocean State, without the stress of being stuck behind a steering wheel. The ferry feels more like vacation than transportation, and that’s why it’s proven to be popular for both residents and visitors.”
“We are looking forward to another successful season for the Providence/Newport ferry for residents and visitors,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said in a news release. “Now in its third year, the ferry is becoming a popular part of our transportation system. It is a great way to increase transit usage and keep cars off the road.”
“Ferry service between Providence and Newport is a critical link between the northern and southern ends of the state, reduces vehicle traffic, and it’s speedy and efficient,” said Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop in a news release.
Seastreak will be the operator this year, and the ferry Ocean State has been completely refurbished. Ticket prices remain the same as last year: $10 for adults, and $5 for children, seniors, and those with disabilities. Bikes and pets are again allowed aboard for no additional charge. A kick-off party with music and food is planned for the first day of service in Providence.
Tickets are available now online at www.RideTheBayRI.com or by calling 1-800-BOATRIDE. Tickets will also be available at the Providence ferry terminal at 25 India Street in Providence the first day of service. In Newport, tickets will be available at the Newport terminal at Perrotti Park, 39 America’s Cup Ave, once service begins. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended, especially for weekend trips, as departures from Providence in the morning and early afternoon were frequently sold out last year.
Another popular feature returning this year is an agreement for joint ticketing that allows passengers riding Amtrak trains to purchase a ticket that includes the ferry. RIDOT spearheaded the joint ticketing initiative with Amtrak last year and saw nearly 1,300 passengers from across the country take advantage of the convenient through-ticketing option.
Last year, the ferry carried 43,068 passengers, up nearly 10,000 riders from the ferry’s inaugural year in 2016 when the service provided more than 33,000 trips.
All schedule and fare information can be found at www.RideTheBayRI.com. The site also provides links and information about getting to the ferry, parking, and the free RIPTA shuttle from the Providence train station, the Rhode Island Convention Center, and Kennedy Plaza to the ferry landing in India Point Park in Providence.