New Bike Shuttle Makes Crossing Pell and Verrazano Bridges Possible for Cyclists

 The RI Bike Shuttle made its maiden voyage June 30. (Bike Newport)

The RI Bike Shuttle made its maiden voyage June 30. (Bike Newport)

By ecoRI News staff

NEWPORT, R.I. — The bridges that connect Aquidneck Island to Jamestown and the mainland have long been an obstacle for cyclists, but they won’t be this summer.

A new bike shuttle will take cyclists across the Pell and Verrazano bridges every Saturday through Oct. 13.

“For the next 16 Saturdays, bridges will not get in the way of riding to and from Conanicut [Jamestown] and Aquidneck islands,” said Bari Freeman, executive director of Bike Newport, the nonprofit bike advocacy organization spearheading the project with planning partners Discover Newport, Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, and the Newport County YMCA.

“We hear too often from folks on bike journeys who just can't get to Newport, and from cyclists in Newport who'd love to jump the puddles to have lunch in Narragansett,” Freeman added.

Two shuttles — one for people and one for bikes — will carry up to 10 riders and their bikes across the Pell and Verrazano bridges free of charge.

The RI Bike Shuttle leaves from Newport heading west at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.; from Jamestown heading west at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.; from North Kingstown heading east at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.; and from Jamestown heading east at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

Reservations are recommended and can be made online at ribridgebikeshuttle.com.