Rhode Island transportation choices includes highways and road, state bus service, regional and national rail, a national airport, ferries to nearby islands and a growing network of bicycle infrastructure.
Rhode Island hosts a section of I-95, the major north-south highway on the US eastern seaboard. Other major highways include:
- I-295 - a ring highway that circumvents Providence to the west, leaving I-95 in Warwick to the south and rejoining in Attleboro in nearby Mass to the north
- RI Route 10 - an inner ring highway that leaves I-95 at the southern border of Providence, merges with RI Route 6 in Olneyville and rejoins I-95 Downcity
- RI Route 6 - divided highway portion splits from RI 10 in Olneyville and connects with I-295 in Johnston
- I-195 - a spur highway that connects I-95 with Cape Cod via Bristol County, Mass
- RI Route 146 - a multi-state highway that connects Providence with I-90 (Mass Pike) and Worcester, MA
- RI Route 4 - a state highway that connects I-95 with a divided highway portion of US Route 1
- RI Route 138 - a spur highway that connects the divided highway portion of US 1 with Newport via the Jamestown and Newport bridges
- US Route 1 - a divided highway portion of Route 1 that serves the coastal communities in South County (Washington County)
- RI Route 37 - a short spur that connects I-95 with I-295 across Cranston
- RI Route 403 - a short spur that connects RI 4 with Quonset Industrial Park
- RI Route 114 - a section of semi-divided highway that serves East Bay communities, leaving I-195 in East Providence and devolving to surface streets in Barrington; also called the Wampanoag Trail
- I-395 - connects I-90 (Mass Pike) in Worcester with I-95 in Niantic, CT
- RI Route 99 - a short spur that connects RI 146 with RI 122 (surface street) in Cumberland
- RI Route 138 - a continuation of MA 24 that connects Fall River, MA and Tiverton with Aquidneck Island via the Sakonnet River Bridge
- RI Route 78 - a short spur that connects the divided highway portion of US 1 in Westerly to CT Route 2 about 1 mile from I-95 in No. Stonington, CT
A large amount of Rhode Island auto traffic travels on major surface streets. The most important include:
- US Route 1 - primarily the Boston Post Road, except for the divided highway section
- US Route 6 - an east-west road that connects I-295 with I-395 in Danielson, CT
- US Route 44 - an east-west road that connects I-295 with I-395 in Putnam, CT
- RI Route 114 - a north-south road that connects Newport with Woonsocket via Aquidneck Island, East Bay and Blackstone Valley communities; also called West Main Road on Aquidneck Island
- RI Route 2 - a north-south road that connects RI 4 with Providence via West Bay communities
- RI Route 3 - a northeast-southwest road that connects Westerly with Warwick via communities in Washington and Kent Counties
- RI Route 102 - a looping road that connects North Kingstown with Woonsocket via communities in Kent and Providence Counties
- RI Route 138 (Aquidneck) - the major north-south road on Aquidneck Island; also called East Main Road
- RI Route 138 (West Bay) - an east-west road in Washington County from South Kingstown to Voluntown, CT; primary route to University of Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority provides bus service for the entire state of Rhode Island. The primary hub is located at Kennedy Plaza in Downcity Providence. Given the state's population patterns, most bus routes serve the Providence metro area, but most cities enjoy local routes.
In addition to traditional bus service, RIPTA began bus / rapid transit (BRT) service on the R Line in June 2014. The R Line replaces the previous routes 99/1 which connect Pawtucket with Providence's South Side via Main/Pawtucket Ave, North Main Street and Broad Street. The R Line is the most-used bus route in Rhode Island.
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (aka, The T) provides commuter rail service (Purple Line) from Wickford Junction to Boston. Rhode Island stops include Wickford Junction, the Interlink facility at TF Green Airport and Providence. Some Rhode Islanders also use the station at South Attleboro, MA, just over the state line from Pawtucket.
Amtrak service in Rhode Island includes Acela and Acela Express trains that stop at Providence and Northeast Regional trains that stop at Westerly, South Kingstown and Providence.
TF Green Airport
TF Green Airport in Warwick provides national passenger air service. Most major US carriers provide service to TF Green.
The most popular ferries depart Galilee, a village in Narragansett, for Block Island and Martha's Vineyard.
Rhode Island hosts a growing network for cyclists, including separated bike paths, marked bicycle lanes and "bike friendly" roads. Cyclists will find the most challenging conditions in urban core areas, where narrow and often pot-holed roads and aggressive motorists can make for a difficult ride.
The three major bicycle paths are:
- East Bay Bike Path - connects East Providence with Bristol; includes many road crossings; services available in East P, Barrington, Warren and Bristol
- Blackstone Valley Bike Path - connects Lincoln with Woonsocket; very few road crossings; scenic route along the Blackstone River and canal (southern section); services only at northern and southern ends; ongoing construction will connect the path to a planned continuation in nearby Mass
- Washington Secondary Bike Path - connects Cranston, just below the Providence city line, with Cumberland, continuing into the Cumberland State Forest; ongoing construction will extend the path to the CT state line
Marked bicycle lanes include:
- Blackstone Boulevard, Providence - approximately 2 miles from Hope Street to Elton Street along the divided road that contains a linear park with a jogging path
- Broadway, Providence - approximately 1 mile from Olneyville to Downcity
Bicycle-friendly road (marked with signs and/or "sharrows") include:
- Hope Street, Providence - from Benefit street to the city line at Pawtucket; some portions are narrow and difficult
- Pleasant Street / Roosevelt Boulevard, Pawtucket - connects Blackstone Blvd lanes with Blackstone Valley Bike Path; well-marked and mostly pleasant
- High Street, Central Falls - continuation of Roosevelt Blvd route; includes two railroad underpass sections; northern most section is exceptionally rough but has few autos
- Canal Street, Providence - southern-most section of North Main Street route, south-bound only (one-way); most cyclists use Randall Street both north- and south-bound to avoid the hill from Charles Street to Olney Street
Common routes not supported by RI DOT include:
- North Main Street, Providence - the most popular route between Providence and Pawtucket; not marked and drivers can be aggressive; extends to Pawtucket Avenue or Main Street Pawtucket