Lawmaker pushes for interchangeable MBTA, RIPTA passes

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A new push to make public transit between Rhode Island and Massachusetts seamless.

Rep. John Lombardi (D – Providence) is heading a bill looking to create some type of partnership between RIPTA and MBTA so commuter rail passes work on RIPTA rides – and vice versa.

"It’s a common sense approach,” Lombardi told ABC6 News. “Makes sense."

Both transit authorities would need to work out the logistics, including how to share the costs of the passes.

"I think if you can save $5, $10, $20 a week, that pays for some of your food and it goes toward your utility bills,” he said. “Why not?”

RIPTA commuters who spoke to ABC6 News like the idea. I take the RIPTA on a daily basis down to work and I take the MBTA commuter rail maybe once a month or so to go visit friends up in Boston, so it would be nice to have one pass," Madeleine Ankhelyi of Providence said.

Shad Simson, who commutes to work in Providence from Bellingham, says the legislation would really benefit him. "You’d be able to switch back and forth and make it a lot easier instead of having the different spot to get your ticket," he explained.

A spokesperson for the MBTA says the transportation authority has not yet had the opportunity to review the legislation, but is open to discussions with fellow transit authorities, adding it would require an agreement regarding fare reciprocity and the interoperability of fare media.

© WLNE-TV 2018