Wednesday, May 22, 2024

RIPTA: PROPOSED CHANGES PROVIDENCE AND WARWICK

RIPTA to Hold Public Hearings and Community Meetings on Revised Proposed Service Changes

Providence, Rhode Island – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will hold public hearings on revised proposed service changes on Monday, April 8 in Providence and Monday, April 15 in West Warwick. Additionally, RIPTA will hold a community meeting on revised proposed service changes on Thursday, April 18 in Pawtucket. 

RIPTA first announced proposed reductions in service statewide in February as a direct response to its driver shortage, which is a longstanding issue that RIPTA has been trying to address over the past few years. The labor shortage, which is affecting transit agencies nationwide, has a direct impact on the level of service that RIPTA can provide. Since the February announcement, RIPTA’s starting driver wage has increased to $25.33 per hour in an effort to attract and retain new drivers.

Last month, RIPTA announced that proposed service changes, originally scheduled for April 6, 2024, would be postponed. This delay allowed RIPTA staff to further evaluate routes and make necessary adjustments to lessen the impact on passengers. Additionally, RIPTA is closely monitoring the effects of the recent increase in driver wages on its system.

After careful deliberation, RIPTA revised some of the previously proposed service changes in order to minimize disruptions for passengers. While some of these revised changes will result in reduced overall service levels, essential connections will still be maintained. The proposed changes, based on data which identified the lowest performing routes and trip times, include the elimination of routes or route segments, the decrease of service frequency and span, as well as the increase of service frequency on some high performing routes.

RIPTA will conduct public hearings as required to present these revised service changes, as well as review previously proposed service changes. These public hearings will address revised proposed service changes to Routes 3, 4, 6, 13, 16, 23, 71, 73, 76, 80 and 95x. Additionally, RIPTA will review proposed service changes that were previously presented in February for Routes Qx, 12x, 14, 18, 64, 21, 23, 51, 54, 58, 59x, 61x, 65x, 68, 72, 87, 92 and 95x, as well as introduce a new route.)

Regular Route Eliminations

Route QX (Quonset Express)

Route 12x (Arctic/117 Express Park-n-Ride)

Route 59x (North Smithfield/Lincoln Mall)

Route 61x (Tiverton/East Bay Park-n-Ride)

Route 76 (Central Ave.) – This will be combined with Route 80 to create a new Route 70.

Route 80 (Armistice Blvd.) – This will be combined with Route 76 to create a new Route 70.

Route 88 (Simmons Village Service)

Elimination of Saturday Service  

Route 18 (Union Ave.) – this route does not currently operate on Sunday.

Route 64 (Newport/URI/Kingston Station) – this route does not currently operate on Sunday.

Elimination of Sunday Service  

Route 23 (Arctic/Crompton/Centre of NE)

Elimination of All Weekend Service               

Route 6 (Prairie Ave./CCRI/RW Zoo)

Route 29 (CCRI Warwick/Conimicut)

Route 75 (Dexter/Lincoln Mall)

Route 73 (Mineral Spring/Twin River/CCRI)

New Route

Route 70

Under state law, the Authority must post the hearing schedule prior to holding any public hearings.  All input from the public at the hearings will go to RIPTA’s Board of Directors; the Board will vote on the proposed service changes at its next board meeting in April.  If approved, service changes would go into effect on Saturday, June 15, 2024. For more information on these changes, passengers can visit RIPTA.com/PublicHearings.

Schedule for Public Hearings & Community Meetings

Monday, April 8, 2024: The Providence Foundation, 30 Exchange Terrace, Providence

Times: 12pm – 2pm & 5pm – 7pm

Monday, April 15, 2024: West Warwick Public Library, 1043 Main Street, West Warwick