The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority announced today that the free “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus service promotion will end for the season today, October 31, 2022. Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1, the full fare of $2.00 per cash boarding will resume.
The free service, funded by Discover Newport and the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, offered transportation around Newport to tourist destinations and beaches. This included all service on Route 67 (Bellevue/Salve Regina Univ.) and Route 68 (CCRI/Memorial Blvd./First Beach). The free “Hop-On Hop-Off” promotion ran Friday, May 27, 2022 through Monday, October 31, 2022.
“Discover Newport and the Episcopal Diocese displayed tremendous leadership in developing a transit partnership to help alleviate traffic congestion during the peak tourist season,” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA Chief Executive Officer. “I applaud them for helping to make our first “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus service a success.”
“The success of the Bellevue Trolley this past summer was largely due to three key elements; ample frequency, direct access to dozens of popular cultural attractions and, of course, the free ride policy,” said Evan Smith, CEO of Discover Newport. “All three encouraged residents and visitors to get out of their cars, which really improved circulation in and around town. Discover Newport was pleased to provide funding support this year in an alliance partnership with RIPTA and city officials. Based on the success of the free shuttle program we are both optimistic and enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing it back for the summer of 2023.”
“The feedback from both residents and visitors has been very positive,” said Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano. “We’re looking forward to seeing the final ridership numbers, and hope that as we work to make it easier for folks to get around town, that this type of service will be able to continue long into the future.”
“The Hop-On Hop-Off program let tourists and beachgoers enjoy our state’s attractions and patronize local business while reducing the traffic on our streets and the pollutants in our air,” said Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely of the Diocese of Rhode Island. “We were delighted to help make it possible.”
RIPTA Customer Service Kiosk Closes for Season
The RIPTA Customer Service Kiosk in the Newport Transportation Center, which opened for the duration of this promotion, will also close today, October 31, 2022. Riders who need transit information are advised to call 401-784-9500 x2012.