The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced it will debut its new ferry service connecting Providence and Newport on July 1.
The new service will run during the busy tourism season, July 1-Sept. 5, bolstering the state's economy and promoting public transit for visitors to Rhode Island's two most popular cities.
"This ferry offers Rhode Islanders and tourists alike a great new way to take advantage of all that Newport and Providence have to offer," Governor Gina Raimondo said. "We are adding a convenient transportation option to help beat traffic during the busy summer tourism season, connecting two world-class cities for eating and exploring, and better utilizing one of our state's greatest assets – Narraganset Bay. I'm excited to try out the ride with my family this summer, and hope to see many other families on board enjoying our great state."
"Rhode Island has a rich heritage as a maritime state and the state's transportation system largely ignores Rhode Island's greatest natural asset – Narragansett Bay," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said. "This is a great way for Rhode Island families to see the bay without a private boat."
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed said, "This ferry service connects two vibrant cities bustling with summer activities in the heart of the tourist season. It is a great way to capitalize on our most treasured natural resource, Narragansett Bay, and to help Rhode Islanders and visitors alike experience the beauty of our state."
SeaStreak, a leader in high-speed ferry transportation based in New Jersey and operator of the New Bedford-to-Martha's Vineyard ferry, will provide three round-trip excursions weekdays (Monday to Thursday), and four scheduled trips each Friday through Sunday, between Providence (India Point) to Newport (Perrotti Park).
Fares are $10 per adults each way, and $5 for children, seniors and those with disabilities, and the trip time is one hour. Tickets may be purchased at the ferry landings. The vessel, named the Ocean State, holds a maximum of 149 passengers and also includes bar service.
RIDOT worked with the Department of Environmental Management and the Commerce Corporation on the project, as tourism contributes $2.5 billion a year in economic value to Rhode Island. Startup cost of the service is $500,000 in this pilot year, which is federally funded.
"Providing desirable amenities such as this new ferry service is a key part in revitalizing the Providence waterfront and offering alternative modes of travel throughout the state," said Janet Coit, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. "Narragansett Bay is at the heart of our economy and culture in Rhode Island. What better way to travel between these two popular destinations than on our beautiful bay. Kudos to Governor Raimondo and RIDOT for spearheading this effort."
Free secure parking will be provided at the Providence site for up to 200 cars. In addition, RIDOT worked with RIPTA to provide a shuttle for Providence train station passengers to get to the ferry.
Passengers can also make connections in Newport, where ferry service is available via other carriers to Block Island and Jamestown.
For more information, go to https://seastreak.com/ferry-routes-and-schedules/between-providence-newport-ri/, or call RIDOT Customer Service 401-222-2450 or SeaStreak 1-800-BOATRIDE.
Contact: Heidi Gudmundson (401) 222-1362, Ext. 4009