This page includes information on:

  • RISD Transportation Management Plan
  • RISD Rides Shuttle Service
  • Bus Rentals
  • Automobile Rentals
  • Van Rentals
  • Zipcar's Partnership with RISD
  • RIPTA (Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority)

*Please note: RISD needs your input on campus transportation needs
Participate in an Open House Pop-Up Workshop*

Wednesday, May 8

Times and Locations:
12–1:30 pm at 15 Westminster
2–3:30 pm at 20 Washington Place
5:30–7 pm at The Met

These workshops are an opportunity for RISD faculty, staff and students to provide input to our consultants, Nelson Nygaard. Your voice is important!

RISD Transportation Management Plan

RISD’s urban campus environment creates natural opportunities for campus affiliates to have many travel choices. In order to better meet the needs of everyone who visits, studies or works at our RISD, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis of all means of travel to, from, and within the campus. This March, RISD hired nationally-recognized sustainable campus transportation experts Nelson\Nygaard to develop a comprehensive Transportation Management Plan. This plan will seek to balance access, transit, and parking demands with the need to preserve the walkable campus character that makes RISD a great place to work, teach, and study.

As part of this process, the Nelson\Nygaard project team will be collecting and analyzing data on our current transportation system. The project team is looking for input on your campus transportation experiences and your ideas for the future. We encourage you to provide as much feedback as possible throughout this process, which is being overseen by the RISD Transportation Task Force.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Participate in the online survey.
  2. Attend an open house workshop (to be held at the end of April / early May - detail forthcoming).
  3. Follow the study’s progress on this webpage.

RISD Transportation Task Force members:

  • Dave Proulx (Chair) – SVP for Finance and Administration
  • Cassidy Duquet (staff to the task force) – Facilities Operations Specialist
  • Bethany Costello – Director, Community Relations
  • Babette Allina – Executive Director, Government Relations
  • Jason Arnone – Career Advisor
  • Alex Ellis – City of Providence
  • Normand Gamache – Director, Public Safety
  • Brittany Goodwin – Director, Disability Services
  • Cassie Goryl – Human resources Partner & Communications
  • Colleen Mullaly – Manager, Visitor Services, RISD Museum
  • Annie Newman – Director, Planning, Design and Construction
  • Jack Silva – VP for Campus Services
  • Gwen Strahle – Assistant Professor, Experimental & Foundation Studies

We are scheduled to conclude our work in November 2019 with a set of recommendations and a Transportation Management Plan for RISD. We are confident that we can make improvements to our current situation. If you have any questions, please contact me at

RISD Rides

Starting in September 2017, RISD Rides vans will no longer use the set routes that were previously in place, but will instead operate as a more flexible, on-demand, door-to-door service. Community members will no longer contact the Department of Public Safety to request a ride from RISD Rides. Students, faculty and staff will now be able to use a smart phone to request a ride from any location, within the designated service area, to any college building. Students may also request a return trip from any college building to their residence, within the service area. RISD Rides will operate 7 days per week during the academic year, from 5:00 pm - 3:15 am. Please check the RISD Rides Service Area Map before planning your trip.

How to Access RISD Rides Online

  1. Go to on a desktop or download the My RISD app on a mobile device
  2. Select your appropriate persona (i.e. students select "Students")
  3. Select "Going" tile
  4. Select "RISD Rides" tile
  5. Click "Request RISD Rides"

Please note: If you are a first-time user of RISD Rides you will be prompted to create an account in the TransLoc Rider app when you request a ride for the first time. It is recommended that you use your RISD username as your username for this system, (for example John Smith would use jsmith). Once you build your profile you will need to select "Rhode Island School of Design."

If you do not have a smart phone and need to request a ride from RISD Rides, you can still contact the Department of Public Safety at 401 427-6915 to request a ride.

How to Request a Ride
On-demand rides are scheduled from within the TransLoc Rider app. When service is available a blue icon will be visible and clicking on the icon will allow you to schedule a ride. When the icon is grey service is unavailable.

  1. Click the "Request a Ride" button
  2. Enter the address where you would like to be picked-up. (This can be done by typing in the address bar, making a selection from the "My Addresses" drop-down menu or by moving the pin on the map so that the green pin's location is where you would like to be picked-up.)
  3. Enter the address where you would like to be dropped-off
  4. Select the number of passengers for the ride. If you are only making a reservation for yourself, please click "Just Me."

Please note: You can save personal addresses in the "My Addresses" drop-down menu by going to "My Addresses" and clicking the "Create Address" button. Then, enter the address on a single line. Finally, enter a name for the address.

Verifying When Your RISD Ride Will Arrive
Once you have scheduled a ride, click "View Ride" and you will be taken to a live map showing your pickup and drop-off locations, the vehicle itself, and your estimated pickup time.

You will also receive a text message, sent to the phone number associated with your account. This message will be sent between 3-5 minutes prior to the vehicle arriving to your pickup location. A text message will also be sent to you when the driver arrives at your location.

How to Cancel a RISD Ride Request

  1. Sign into the TransLoc Rider App
  2. On the left-hand menu, click "My Rides"
  3. Click on the ride you would like to cancel
  4. Click the "Cancel Ride" button

Please note: If you wish to change your ride or schedule a new one, you must first cancel the one you currently have scheduled.

Rules and Regulations

  • Passengers must show a valid RISD ID to the driver when boarding.
  • Guests must be accompanied by a RISD community member.
  • Conduct of guests is the responsibility of their host.
  • All riders must wear a seat belt per Rhode Island state law.
  • Pets are not allowed on board.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the vehicle.
  • Alcohol is not permitted in the vehicle (in closed or open containers).
  • Passengers who damage a RISD Rides vehicle will be billed accordingly.

RISD Rides passengers have the right to be driven home in a safe manner and be treated with courtesy and respect, and are expected to treat RISD Rides employees in the same manner. RISD Rides reserves the right to deny transport to any passenger if the driver deems their behavior to be dangerous to the driver, other passengers or the vehicle.

RISD Rides is operated under contract by First Transit, Inc. of Providence, RI. First Transit runs background checks on all drivers. RISD Rides operators wear a First Transit, Inc. uniform and photo badge that they must present to passengers upon request.

Please direct any questions or feedback about RISD Rides to DPS at 401 454-6376.

Bus Rentals

Through a sister division, First Transit provides the opportunity for bus rentals for field trips or events through Peter Pan Bus Lines, which offers the following charter pricing for bus rentals: $115.00/hour (6-hour minimum)

First Transit Contact Information for Charter Bus Rentals:
Travis Mills, First Transit General Manager
401 309-5094

MDT Bus Lines, Inc. Contact Information:
Sheila McGillicuddy
Phone: 508 336-7111
Fax: 508 336-7114

Automobile Rentals

Through E&I Cooperative Services, RISD has access to contract pricing from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. Enterprise is the largest car rental company in North America and now owns National Car Rental. The contract offers exceptionally low rates and the ability to choose from two rental programs based upon the individual’s needs and requirements.


Students, faculty and staff at RISD will now have wheels when they want them with Zipcar’s car-sharing program. RISD has partnered with Zipcar and the surrounding universities to give you access to 19 cars on or near campus. Cars are available on-demand, 24/7, and can be reserved by the hour or day. Gas, insurance, roadside assistance, and 180 miles are included for all reservations. Students, faculty, and staff can now join for just $15 and with hourly rates starting as low as $8.

Now it will be easy to get off campus whenever for errands, entertainment, even road trips! Plus avoid the hassles and expenses of owning a car and finding parking on campus. Students only need to be 18 to join and international students are welcome too. Interested? Sign up today!