NEWPORT, R.I. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is launching a new service that will allow riders to travel throughout parts of the city for free.
The new "Hop-On Hop-Off" bus service will allow residents and tourists to travel to popular tourist destinations and beaches totally free of charge from any stop along the routes starting Friday, May 27 until Halloween. Discover Newport, the city's tourism department, and the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island are providing the funding for the program.
The new program includes both Route 67 and 68 busses, however, free service does not start on the Route 68 bus until Saturday, June 18, unlike the Route 67 service, which begins Friday, May 27. The Route 67 bus goes to locations like the Newport Mansions and the Cliff Walk while the Route 68 bus goes to some of the city's beaches.
“We are extremely excited about the plans presented from RIPTA regarding the continuation of the free shuttle to our beaches and other iconic sites,” Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said in a statement. “The newest fleet of smaller electric buses will benefit our community’s health and environment now and in the future. Newport thanks both RIPTA and the Episcopal Diocese for their support of this invaluable program.”
RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian said in a statement he hopes the plan will help alleviate traffic during peak tourist season while also helping locals get around the city.