To the relief of many, Rhode Island reopened public restrooms Wednesday at the Kennedy Plaza transit hub in Providence, which had been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority also recently reopened to the general public bathroom facilities at the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center and the Pawtucket Transit Center.
"Reopening public restrooms at three busy transit facilities in our state is a necessary step to address public need as we re-emerge from the pandemic," Gov. Daniel McKee said in a statement.
The agency has kept the Kennedy Plaza bathrooms closed to the general public, citing the need to enforce a federal mask mandate and to provide bus drivers with their own facilities where they didn't have to wait in line and in turn could keep buses running on schedule.
RIPTA chief Scott Avedisian said the issue has been resolved.
The city agreed on a plan that will accommodate the public need for the facilities while also making provisions for drivers by retrofitting restrooms at the nearby public skating rink for them.
"We are happy to be moving forward on this issue," Avedisian said, "and we appreciate the steps the city is taking."