It’s a common misconception that owning and driving a car is a prerequisite for navigating our state’s diverse landscapes and attractions. However, that’s simply not true. Let the newly renovated Kennedy Plaza (KP) in downtown Providence, RIPTA’s main hub, serve as the starting point to your summer travels. Whether it’s to South County, the city’s outskirts or a new neighborhood you’ve never thought to visit, your RIP-Tik is your passport to explore the state’s many treasures.
1) Newport is a hot summer spot, but a visit there often serves as a reminder of how little free parking is available near all the attractions. Cue the 60 Bus – ending its route from Kennedy Plaza a couple of blocks from the historic Thames Street, Long Wharf Mall and more. RIPTA recently extended its service to accommodate later trips back to Providence for the season, so you can sail under the sunset, sip another sangria and remain stress-free about your travel back to the city. (Approx. 80 minutes from KP)
2) On the way to Newport via the 60, you might be compelled to stop in Warren. Give into that temptation. This town has been on every epicurean’s radar and shows no signs of wavering with famous institutions such as Blount Clam Shack new restaurants like Eli’s Kitchen and the opening of RI’s first “culinary business incubator,” Hope & Main, allowing beginner entrepreneurs space, resources and a community to grow their businesses. Its proximity to Providence makes it an excellent choice for a scenery switch and the bus practically chauffeurs you from door to door. Okay, it’s not quite limo service, but you tell us a limo driver who charges $4 round trip. (Approx. 25 minutes from KP)
3) Instead of relying on a taxi, paying exorbitant parking fees or schlepping your luggage all the way to Boston’s Logan Airport, take the 14 or 1 Bus to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick on your next trip. This route makes it incredibly easy to get to and from the airport, so you can focus on packing enough pairs of shoes and if your travel-sized liquids meet airline regulations. This year, T.F. Green has expanded its international flight offerings to include Europe and Cape Verde Islands, making it easier to escape to somewhere exotic. (Approx. 20 minutes from KP)
4) The 14 bus isn’t just for leaving on a plane and, as you already know, it’s not necessary to search elsewhere in the country for relaxation on a beautiful, sandy beach. Take this route all the way to South County for a little fun in the coastal sun. Narragansett Beach is one of many beaches accessible via the 14 and the bus will help you pack light. (Approx. 75 minutes from KP)
5) Feeling lucky? It’s always a sure bet that with both the 51 and 54 Buses, you’ll get to Twin River Casino in no time. Catch a show, run the blackjack table or play a lighthearted round of penny slots. If the bright lights and fun games make you sleepy, you can catch a few z’s on the ride back. (Approx. 30 minutes from KP)
6) See the elephants, zebras, monkeys and more at the Roger Williams Zoo, a perfect day trip for kids and families. The 20 bus becomes the ride before the safari. There’s about a 10-minute stroll through Roger Williams Park from the closest RIPTA stop, affording you the opportunity to leisurely sip that Del’s Lemonade and soak up the late-summer sunshine. (Approx. 25 minutes from KP)
7) When you go see the PawSox, you’d like the only game played to be baseball, not “Where’d I park my car?” Although their future home is up in the air, for now, the PawSox are still a highly revered fixture of Pawtucket, and the 78 will get you to McCoy Stadium in no time. Enjoy the ball game knowing with confidence the location of your car (at home, obviously). (Approx. 35 minutes from KP)
8) Although Pawtuxet Village sounds like Pawtucket, it’s actually on the Cranston/Warwick line and its diverse offering of cute cafes, posh shops and gourmet restaurants are highly accessible via RIPTA’s 3 Bus. Of all its popular attractions, its restaurant scene is most prominent; so, go ahead, have the extra glass of wine with dinner – you’re not driving. (Approx. 20 minutes from KP)
For the complete list of RIPTA bus routes, schedules, and areas serviced, visit ripta.com.