RIPTA gets $13.5M in federal grants to expand service, hybrid electric fleet

THE RHODE ISLAND Public Transit Authority has received $13.5 million in federal grants to expand both its service and hybrid electric fleet.  / PBN FILE PHOTO/ MICHAEL SALERNO
THE RHODE ISLAND Public Transit Authority has received $13.5 million in federal grants to expand both its service and hybrid electric fleet.  / PBN FILE PHOTO/ MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority has received $13.5 million in federal grants to expand both its service and hybrid electric fleet, according to the Rhode Island congressional delegation. 

An $8.5 million grant from a federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity will go toward RIPTA’s service expansion and a $5 million federal Low and No Emission [Low-No] Vehicle grant will go toward the expansion of electric vehicles. 

“This $13.5 million in federal funding … will further help RIPTA’s commitment to expand bus service, as well as help mitigate climate change and ultimately contribute to a zero-emissions future,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian. “Electrifying our fleet and expanding service is vital to making public transportation an obvious, affordable and reliable choice over single occupancy vehicles as it relates to environmental equity.”
 
The $8.5 million grant will allow RIPTA to conduct planning, project development and engineering for an expanded rapid bus network, according to a news release from Sen. Jack Reed’s office. The expanded network would provide more high-capacity, reliable bus services to and from Providence and other urban areas with high ridership demands, improving transit times and reliability, and allowing for greater, more affordable transportation between communities and areas of economic opportunity.

“RIPTA helps people get where they need to go and is an economic driver for the state.  This new federal funding will help RIPTA plan for the future and better connect riders and communities while growing its fleet of hybrid buses.” Reed said.

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The federal Low and No Emission Vehicle grant program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles that use advanced technologies such as battery electric or fuel-cell power to provide cleaner, more energy-efficient public transit. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included $5.5 billion for the Low-No Emissions Grant Program, available through fiscal year 2026, according to the release.

“Countless Rhode Islanders depend on public transit to travel from place to place, and with this federal investment, we’re helping riders get to their destination quickly and safely while reducing harmful air pollution,” said U.S. Rep. Seth Magaziner, D-R.I. “It’s a win for our communities, a win for clean air, and a win for Rhode Island.” 

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