Providence is conveniently situated on I-95 between Boston and New York, making quick trips to check out current exhibitions and gallery shows in those cities common among grad students. For students and visitors traveling to and from Providence by air, the nearest airports are Rhode Island’s Green Airport and Boston Logan International. In general the city is incredibly easy to get around and there are many free transportation options in and around Providence..

Getting to and around Providence


One popular and inexpensive way to get to and from Providence is by bus. Go Buses, MegaBus, Bolt Bus, Peter Pan and Greyhound connect to major cities in the region and often offer special rates for fares booked in advance.


Providence is a bike-friendly city (though the hills on the east side of town can be punishing). Bike lanes are present throughout the city and protected bike paths connect Providence to nearby towns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. You’ll find plenty of places to lock your bike on campus and if your interest in riding a bike goes beyond commuting, RISD has a popular cycling team you can join.


Amtrak serves the Providence rail station with Acela and Regional trains. The MBTA Commuter rail service also has regular trips to and from Boston and points between. Commuter trains connect to Boston’s public transportation system (the “T”) via Ruggles, Back Bay and South Station.

Ride sharing/driving/parking

Uber and Lyft both operate in Providence (though UberPOOL is not yet offered). Zipcar also has locations throughout the city (particularly convenient for Home Depot and grocery store trips). Parking on or near campus can be a challenge when school is in session so consider carpooling or using alternative means of travel, if possible.


RIPTA operates public transit services throughout Rhode Island. The Providence hub, Kennedy Plaza, is located directly across the Providence River from campus. By presenting their RISD ID when they board, students are able to ride RIPTA busses free of charge. Bought individually, regular RIPTA passes are $4 and all-day passes are $6, and discounted weekly and monthly fares can be purchased as well.

RISD Rides/Brown University Shuttle

RISD Rides operates as a flexible, on-demand, door-to-door service. Students, faculty and staff can 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 operates seven days per week during the academic year, from 5 pm–3 am. RISD students are also able to use the Brown University Shuttle with their RISD ID.