For the third summer, the Diocese of Rhode Island is partnering with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and the Discover Newport tourism board to fund free electric bus service to the city’s beaches and tourist destinations.
Speaking at a celebratory press conference on May 27, Bishop Nicholas Knisely said that the diocese’s support of the initiative represents “a vision for a different way of being a community.”
Citing the diocese’s commitment to both environmental sustainability and equity, he said that the summer trolleys provide residents of Newport’s North End, especially children, “with a way to get to the beach you can see but not safely get to—the beach where your friends spend the summer.
Newport Mayor Xaykham (Xay) Khamsyvoravong agreed. “I grew up riding RIPTA down to Newport and have remained an avid rider ever since,” he said. “To improve traffic, mobility and equity in Newport, we need to build public transit partnerships like the ones we are proud to continue with these routes.”
The chief executive officer of RIPTA, Scott Avedisian, is a longtime diocesan leader and lifelong member of Trinity, Pawtuxet.
“I am proud of Discover Newport and the Episcopal Diocese for providing funding to help make transit more accessible to both tourists and residents alike,” he said.
The Rev. Della Wager Wells, rector of Emmanuel, Newport, and the Rev. Kevin Beesley, rector of St. John’s, Newport, also attended the event.