Thursday, August 18, 2011

RITPA Board Meeting - 8/22/11

The RIPTA Board of Directors is holding a meeting this Monday (August 22nd) to address the agency's 2011 budget crisis. Previous announcements from the RIPTA executives have proposed dramatic cuts to bus services. These cuts have been outlined at a series of public hearings throughout Rhode Island and were scheduled to begin in September.

However, state politicians were not prepared for the level of opposition the public has expressed about RIPTA cuts. Rhode Islanders have made their voices heard: we need bus service for the rights of our disabled citizens, for the economic survival of working people and for the good of our economy as a whole. We will not stand quietly as crucial services are cut and social justice is denied to the most vulnerable in our state.

Last Wednesday, RIPTA Riders delivered a petition opposing the cuts to the State House. After a small but vocal rally, we carried the signatures of over 1,500 Rhode Islanders who are committed to the health of public transportation in the offices of state political leaders. From the RIPTA public hearings to protests at Kennedy Plaza and at the State House, we have pushed back against cuts to RIPTA's budget.

We hope that our voices have been listened to. Monday's meeting will be a test: will State politicians ignore the needs of the people and the good of the economy, or will they put forward a concrete plan to maintain RIPTA's essential services to Rhode Island? To avoid reductions in RIPTA service, the agency needs a commitment from state legislators to solve the budget shortfalls that have placed a stranglehold on public transportation in Rhode Island.

There is still time to make a difference. Here is what you can do to help:
  • Contact your State representatives, and let them know that you oppose cuts to RIPTA service. Let them know that you demand a new funding structure that will guarantee a sustainable budget for the years to come. Find contact info for your representatives here
  • Join the RIPTA Riders rally at the RIPTA board hearing on Monday. We will be there to demonstrate our opposition to service cuts and our support for public transit in Rhode Island. Whatever happens on Monday, we want to make it clear that we will not let RIPTA services go without a fight. Please come to the meeting and demonstration:
RIPTA Board Meeting and RIPTA Riders Rally
RITPA Headquarters
269 Melrose St, Providence RI
Monday August 22nd 1:30 PM
  • Join RIPTA Riders' effort in the coming months to help secure a sustainable funding structure for public transit in Rhode Island. Join our group by emailing

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