RIC Community is Coming in Out of the Cold: New Shuttle Service

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo takes first ride on shuttle.

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo takes first ride on shuttle.

Two RIC students hurried across campus, pushed along by the nor’easter and its 30-, 40-, 50-mile-per-hour winds. They had just left the Rec Center and were headed to their dorm.

Huddled shoulder-to-shoulder in jogging suits, they suddenly took off running when RIC’s shuttle pulled up and rumbled open its doors.

“Thank God,” said one student, as she clamored aboard. “It’s cold out there.”

“RIC couldn’t have picked a better day to start service,” said the other student.

In operation from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 12:30 a.m. on Friday, the shuttle makes a complete loop around the campus every 20 minutes, with 10 stops along the way. This new addition to the campus community is part of a continuing effort by RIC President Nancy Carriuolo to maintain safety on campus.

“Those students who take a class in the evening and feel a safety concern, now have the option to take the shuttle,” she said. “Safety is very important to me. We tried to plan stops where there would be building overhangs or where riders could wait inside a building. It’s not going to be perfect, and we won’t be able to service the needs of everyone, but the bus will provide a safer and more convenient alternative to walking from one building to another or walking to and from a distant parking lot.”

Carriuolo thanked the committee, led by Gary Penfield, vice president for Student Affairs, for working on the project.

Penfield said, “I hope students will embrace the shuttle and ride it regularly so that they gain the full value of it. We will modify the service, as we go along. We may have to add or change a designated stop or amend the timing. We’ve contracted with the current security company until the end of the semester. A new contract will go out for bid next semester.”

William Potter, who was also on the committee, is a RIC student and an employee of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).

Potter said, “I think the shuttle is a great idea. It’s equipped with a wheelchair lift, so it’ll be great for students who have mobility issues, be it crutches or a wheelchair.”

Potter himself is blind and works for RIPTA to improve ADA accessibility. Penfield said William’s contributions on the committee were invaluable and that he “brought a perspective we wouldn’t have had without him.”

Other committee members were ’81 Mark Therrian, employee of RIPTA; Scott Kane, dean of students; representatives from RIC’s Student Community Government; and Don Tencher, assistant vice president for administration and finance.

Click here to see bus route and schedule.