Exploring RIPTA’s transition from diesel to electric buses using an acoustical lens

Exploring RIPTA’s transition from diesel to electric buses using an acoustical lens

This fall, students at Brown University will be conducting an exposure assessment, examining how the electrification of RIPTA’s bus fleet will impact Rhode Island’s environmental soundscape.

Research Goals

• We will gain a better understanding of how electrifying the RIPTA bus fleet will impact Rhode Island’s environmental soundscape.

• We will understand this process by soliciting feedback from four viewpoints from people: recalling their last RIPTA trip, who live near RIPTA bus lines, who want to share their thoughts about electrification, who want to share general thoughts and feelings about noise in Rhode Island.

• We will conduct this study using the following lenses:

– Health, wellness, and safety

– Inclusion and accessibility

– Education

• We will highlight local businesses that are accessible via RIPTA.


• Currently, we are measuring sound levels on RIPTA bus routes and in communities that are near RIPTA bus lines.

• We will create a detailed visualization and report of our findings.

• Using environmental noise as a key factor, starting a discussion about what lines should be prioritized and why.

Meet the Team

Research Output

City of Providence Neighborhood Noise Report Card

Last fall, we mapped out sound levels in Providence and created the city’s first ever Neighborhood Noise Report Card! Download our report card, here!

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Community Noise Lab has FREE copies of our acvity book, Protect and Preserve. They are for both children and adults and cover everything you need to know about from anatomy to hearing protection! You can email Dr. Erica Walker for a copy. You can also download Community Noise Lab’s very own decibel level coloring sheet!

Firing Back in Cranston, RI

Learn more about what it feels like to live near an active gun firing range from the perspective of concerned residents. Brown undergraduate Juliet Fang tells their story.

Hearing Health in Short-Haul Truck Drivers

Health Equity Scholar Rosemelly Jiminez Medal has been conducting community hearing screenings around Greater Providence since last year. For her Master’s thesis, and inspired by her father’s occupation, she spend the summer measuring the hearing health of short-haul truck drivers in her home state of California.

After Market Muffler Study

Brown University senior Imran Dharamsi is examining the aftermarket muffler industry, through four different lenses: concerned residents, auto enthusiasts, autobody shop owners, and policy makers.

Noise in a clinical setting

Brown University senior Chilsea Wang is looking at how noise is a clinical setting impacts well-being, healing, and communication.

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