Providence is named one of the top 10 most walkable cities, but you won’t be able to get everywhere by foot. Here is advice on how to get around the city.

Public Transportation
Driving and Parking


We highly encourage all City Year AmeriCorps members to use RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority) to get around Providence and adjacent towns. The system serves greater Providence and all Providence schools are accessible by bus service. 

Schedules vary by bus line, with more frequent service during peak morning and evening hours (typical business hours). Bus service begins no earlier than 5am, an important detail when planning where you will live and how you will commute. Schedules for all routes are online and the RIPTA trip planner is a useful tool to plan your travel between two points. 

Several apps provide real-time schedule information for subways and buses. A list can be found on the RIPTA’s website. 

Travel on RIPTA requires a RIPTA pass. As a City Year member, you will be assigned a RIPTA pass beginning on August 6. The pass is good for travel on RIPTA-operated buses and trollies. Your pass is tracked by a number located on the card. In the event that you lose your pass, you must report it to our office manager so that we can cancel it immediately. Your pass must never be swapped or shared with other members.


Driving in Providence can be challenging. Providence ranks as one of the least safe driving cities in the nation, landing 7th on the list. If you are bringing a car to Providence, plan ahead to avoid headaches and unnecessary costs. 

Parking on most non-residential city streets requires you to feed the meter. While parking in a residential area is free, parking overnight requires a permit, issued by the City. Instructions to secure a permit are online. Note, permits cost $100 per year for cars registered in Providence. Permits cost $200 per year for cars registered outside of Providence.

Parking at schools is very limited and school faculty have priority. We highly discourage members from driving to service each day. We strongly recommend using public transportation. 

If your need for a vehicle is limited to occasional errands, car-sharing programs like ZipCar might be a cost-effective alternative for you.