From Barry Schiller via the advocacy email list:
Those who use bikes as part of an attempt to live a reduced-car or no-car life style, or just use the buses, and/or like me also use buses to get to the bike paths, might be interested in the schedule of public hearings on the proposed RIPTA service cuts.
The underlying problem is we finance RIPTA with a flat portion of the gas tax, that not only does not keep up with inflation, it actually has declined (about 10%) in dollars as people buy less gas in response to the high prices. It is impossible to sustain a system that way. RIDOT has a similar problem, but they have been able to get by for now by heavy borrowing.
Thus RIPTA, facing a $12 million deficit this fiscal year, (projected to about double in 4 years) has proposed cutting about 20% of its service. This includes all evening buses after 7pm, all holiday service, total elimination of 7 lines and 8 park-and-rides, the shortening of 12 additional lines. with reduced frequency on remaining service. Yet the Governor’s Office seemed to suggest this is not a severe reduction but a “tweaking” of service.
Those concerned should consider calling elected officials including the Governor’s Office (222-2080, ask for Chris Long) and/or attending these hearings:
all are 2 to 4pm and 6 to 8pm, except Smithfield evening hours are 6:30 to 8:30pm
- Fri, Sept 26 Narragansett Town Hall
- Mon, Sept 29 Warwick City Hall
- Tues Sept 30, Barrington Library and Newport Public Library
- Wed Oct 1, Smithfield Senior Center
- Thursday, Oct 2 Providence DaVinci Center, 470 Charles St
Personally, I think RIPTA is a huge asset to the RI transportation system and the fact that they provide bike racks on all the buses makes them hugely attractive for cyclists.