RIPTA
Photo provided by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) Credit: RIPTA

Health and human service nonprofits located along RIPTA’s new Route 68 are encouraging residents to take advantage of the free “city to beach” shuttle this summer, particularly if they need to get to one of their sites.

Route 68 service connects neighborhoods in the north end of Newport to local beaches. Its route includes a loop around the Aquidneck Corporate Park in Middletown, adjacent to Child & Family and the Rhode Island Department of Human Services offices both located at 31 John Clarke Road, the Newport County YMCA at 792 Valley Road, and Newport Mental Health at 127 Johnny Cake Hill.

Route 68 was created as one of two free summer shuttles to alleviate congestion in the city and improve access to downtown Newport and the beaches, according to a press release from Child & Family. Passengers can board this route for free now through October 2022; full fare resumes November 1, 2022. Financial support for this new route comes from the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

“Many families and children rely on the RI Department of Human Services for critical support throughout Rhode Island, where transportation remains a barrier for people seeking public benefits,” said Yvette M. Mendez, Acting Director of the RI Department of Human Services in a statement. “This bus route means more people will have access to essential programs and services from DHS and partners such as Child & Family, whose mission also aligns with ours in helping children and families reach their full potential.”

The groups are hopeful RIPTA will continue the route permanently, as a lifeline to city residents without a car or means of other transportation.

“Frequently public transportation is not a viable option due to service routes not including our clinical locations,” said Jamie Lehane, president & CEO of NMH. “Route 68 increases critical access to Newport Mental Health’s community mental health clinic at 127 Johnny Cake Hill, which results in better quality of life for our neighbors, friends, and family members.”

Ryan Belmore is the 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/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

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.