Trolley transportation in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Trolleys are an environment-friendly way of going around and seeing the sights. This mode of transportation was introduced by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority or RIPTA in 1999. RIPTA is the main provider of transportation in the Ocean State. Their transportation hub is located in the Kennedy Plaza in Providence’s downtown area. There, its transportation system, primarily consisting of buses, caters to the transportation needs of 38 of the 39 communities in Rhode Island. RIPTA’s Kennedy Hub is also near the Bonanza Bus Lines and the Greyhound Bus Lines. It is also accessible to the financial district, city hall and post office, and hotels like the Biltmore, Marriott, and Westin. It has a café, ATM and bike racks.
RIPTA’s trolleys are produced by the Chance Coach &Optima Bus company. They make use of compressed natural gas or CNG for fuel. The trolley service is a great way to reach Providence’s historic sites, universities, restaurants, shopping places and cultural spots without the problems of parking. Its 91 Gold Line services the Providence Marriott throughout the week. This line brings travelers to Capitol Hill’s attractions — the State House, VMA Arts, and Cultural Center and the Waterplace Park, site of the WaterFire, a popular summer attraction when fires are lighted along the rivers that run through Providence. The Gold Line also brings one to the South Side, where the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Community College of Rhode Island, the Johnson and Wales University and Rhode Island’s Hospital Complex are.
RIPTA’s trolley service also has the 92 Green Line which goes to the Federal Hill and East Side every day. This line brings commuters to the Federal Hill’s must-visit restaurant row as well as the convention center, De Pasquale Center, Dunkin Donuts Center, Eagle Square, Holiday Inn, and Providence Black Repertory Company. The East Side is where the market place, the shops of Thayer Street and the Wickenden bistros and cafes are. There, one can also visit the Brown University Meehan Auditorium, the First Baptist Church in America and the Rhode Island School of Design. One-day, 10-ride and 15-ride passes are not only available at the Kennedy Plaza but at the Shaw’s and Stop and Shop outlets as well. Seniors and persons with disabilities are given discounts upon presentation of an identification card which can be applied for at RIPTA’s office at Kennedy Plaza.
RIPTA’s trolleys will reach its ten-year industry limit for usefulness in 2010 and will be replaced by then. They are intent on the acquisition of trolleys that run on more efficient and cleaner fuels, have longer span of use and with better features for the elderly and disabled.