PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a delayed start to the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Providence-Newport Ferry is set to resume service starting Friday, June 26, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced Thursday.
Since capacity will be limited, RIDOT is advising riders to make reservations in advance. When the weather is good and outdoor seating is available, up to 90 riders will be allowed on the ferry, according to RIDOT, whereas only 60 riders will be allowed during inclement weather when outdoor seating is a challenge.
RIDOT said Seastreak will again be the operator and use the ferry Ocean State, which will be sanitized during and between runs and thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.
Passengers will be asked to maintain social distancing and wear face coverings on the ferry as well as at the ticketing areas and on the docks. Anyone who is feeling sick should not ride the ferry, RIDOT said.
The ferry will run through Columbus Day weekend, making four daily round trips between Providence and Newport during the peak season and three daily round trips in the fall.
The ferry will also make stops in Bristol on weekends through Labor Day.
“Summer is a special time in Rhode Island,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. “We are glad that we were able to work with our ferry operator to bring back this popular service that gives all Rhode Islanders an equal chance to enjoy the beauty of the bay and experience Newport, Bristol and Providence car-free.”
RIDOT said ticket prices will remain the same: $11 for adults and $5.50 for children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Pets and bikes are allowed aboard at no additional charge, and parking is free at the Providence ferry terminal.
In addition, Amtrak train passengers can once again purchase joint tickets that include the ferry, according to RIDOT, and a free shuttle between the Providence terminal and popular locations in the city will be available through RIPTA.
Seastreak is encouraging the use of e-tickets to limit person-to-person contact.
To purchase tickets, visit RideTheBay.com, call 1-800-BOATRIDE, or stop by the Providence terminal on India Street or the Bristol Maritime Center on Thames Street on weekends.