With demand for transit service at record levels, now is NOT the time to reduce bus service in Rhode Island. Public transportation is vital to the health of the state’s economy and environment, and it benefits riders and non-riders alike. RIPTA provides affordable convenient access to transportation that makes it possible for those who can’t drive to get where they need to go, lowers individual transportation costs, eases congestion, and reduces carbon emissions. Public transportation also makes important contributions towards alleviating the serious national challenge of energy security, and it encourages more active lifestyles that help combat the obesity epidemic.
Unfortunately, RIPTA has a structural deficit problem because its funding comes from the declining revenues of the gas tax, at the same time that its operating costs are increasing due to higher fuel prices. For the economic, environmental, and social well-being of Rhode Island, we call on the General Assembly and Governor to create a secure and stable funding mechanism to ensure that there will be no cuts to public transportation service.