RIPTA Launches New Wave to Work Commuter Benefits Program

 RIPTA Launches New Wave to Work Commuter Benefits Program

Greystone Inc. Employees First to Receive Wave Transit Benefits

Lincoln, Rhode Island, June 2, 2022 – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority today announced the launch of Wave to Work – a commuter transit benefits program. Wave to Work is a simple way for employers to offer their employees a benefit that has a positive impact on both the environment and their bottom line. Employers can arrange for their employees to use RIPTA’s state-wide transportation system and can choose to subsidize part or all of their employees’ public transportation costs. Participants receive Wave smart cards so that they can tap a card reader when boarding the bus. There are no implementation costs, and administrative assistance and technical support are free.  Multiple reports have cited the importance of providing transportation assistance in helping companies recruit qualified employees and markedly reduce turnover.

PHOTO (L-R): Scott Avedisian, RIPTA CEO; Phil Gould, Lincoln Town Administrator; Dave Chenevert, RI Manufacturers Association Executive Director; Wasimgul Safi, Greystone, Inc. Employee; Stefan Pryor, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce ; Kieran McGlynn, Greystone, Inc. Chief Executive Officer; Matthew D. Weldon, RI Department of Labor & Training Director

The first company to participate in this new program is Greystone Inc., a local manufacturer located in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Greystone, Inc. –a global leader in the production of high-volume precision machined and plated components for the automotive, aerospace, medical and industrial markets – is subsidizing the entire cost of the monthly Wave passes for their employees.

“I applaud Greystone Inc. for being the first company to participate in RIPTA’s new Wave to Work program,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Not only is Greystone demonstrating social responsibility, they’re encouraging the use of mass transit by subsidizing transit for their employees. They’re also reducing the costs incurred for an employee to get to work.  I urge more companies to participate in this new commuter benefits program, as it benefits both the environment and the workforce.”

The Wave to Work program not only helps companies assist employees in getting to work – it also creates a dialogue enabling RIPTA to learn more about employer transportation needs.  For example, after meeting with Greystone Inc., RIPTA learned that some employees there were having a difficult time making the early connection to Route 54 in Kennedy Plaza. RIPTA’s Commuter Resource RI team, who are dedicated to helping the public find innovative and environmentally friendly transportation options, connected Greystone Inc. employees with Recycle-A-Bike.

The non-profit community bike shop donated 15 bicycles to these new Greystone Inc. commuters to help them complete their intermodal connection to Kennedy Plaza. In addition to subsidizing their transit benefits, Greystone Inc. also generously purchased helmets for their pedaling employees.

“We’re excited about the Wave to Work program because it’s not only going to help connect more people to jobs, but it’s also going to enhance our communications with Rhode Island businesses,” said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer.  “As we work with businesses and their employees, we will have the opportunity to hear more about their transportation needs and make service adjustments accordingly.  It’s this kind of partnership that makes public transportation vital to our State’s economy.”

“Greystone is proud to be the first company to participate in the RIPTA Wave to Work Commuter Benefits Program,” said Kieran McGlynn, Chief Executive Officer for Greystone, Inc. “People are the most important part of our business and we’re pleased to been able to work with RIPTA to help make public transport easier to use for all of our employees. We’re fortunate to have a supportive partner like RIPTA that can help us continue to grow our business in Rhode Island.”

 

To accommodate this new Wave to Work partner, Route 54 (Lincoln/Woonsocket) will deviate to directly serve Greystone Inc. starting June 18, 2022. In addition, trip times have been adjusted to meet their shift time needs.

“The Wave to Work program will have positive benefits for employers and workers in Rhode Island,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “This program will continue the McKee Administration’s priority of connecting Rhode Islanders with good jobs with a focus on underserved and disadvantaged communities. We are grateful that more Rhode Islanders will now have enhanced public transportation access to their place of work.”

“The manufacturer sector is very busy and still has a shortage of labor.  This program helps to encourage individuals and existing personnel to offset the rising cost of transportation. The RIPTA program offers a win-win for both employee and employer,” said Dave Chenevert, Executive Director for the RI Manufacturers Association (RIMA).  “This program can reduce transportation cost of the individual and reduce the carbon in the air. RIMA continues to embrace ideas and programs to support manufacturing’s continued expansion.”

“As Rhode Islanders return to work at a historic rate, we know that transportation remains a major barrier for many,” said Matthew D. Weldon, Director for RI Department of Labor & Training. “We’re excited about this new public-private collaboration that allows companies to provide a convenient, affordable, and eco-friendly way for their employees to get to work. It’s a win-win-win: for workers, businesses, and the environment.”

Employers who are interested in providing a transit benefit for their employees should contact RIPTA’s Commuter Resource RI team at commuter@ripta.com or by calling 401-784-575.

 For more information on RIPTA’s programs and services, visit RIPTA.com or call 401-781-9400

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