BOSTON – The R.I. Public Transit Authority was one of 11 organizations and companies across the country recognized at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 12th annual Clean Air Excellence Awards.
RIPTA was honored for its Free Zoo & Trolley Too! initiative, which offered Rhode Island residents free rides to the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
“The 42-year-old Clean Air Act challenges communities to help protect the public health, our communities and the economy through innovative initiatives,” Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, said in a statement.
“The Rhode Island project fit the bill with its innovative approach to transportation. Free Zoo and Trolley Too! gave passengers a positive transit experience at the same time it reduced air pollution,” added Spalding.
From May to September 2011, RIPTA’s program ran free hybrid/diesel red trolley rides to the zoo on the first Saturday of every month.
“RIPTA is most excited to be nationally recognized for our innovative ‘Free Zoo and Trolley too’ marketing campaign,” Cristy Raposo, RIPTA’s marketing coordinator, said in a statement.
“While our primary mission is to provide safe and efficient transportation to our riders, we recognize and value the importance of preserving and protecting our environment,” said Raposo. “Through programs like this, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to improving air quality for all Rhode Islanders.”
The Free Zoo and Trolley Too! initiative was done in partnership with the Roger Williams Park Zoo. It encouraged city residents to leave their cars and home and try RIPTA for free. According to a release announcing the award, RIPTA saw its ridership double on the first day of the promotion.