R.I. transit contemplates service cuts
PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island's public transit authority is considering whether to cut one-fifth of its service and eliminate service to four towns entirely as it deals with a $12 million deficit.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, or RIPTA, said the cutbacks would affect 50 regular routes, eliminating some and cutting sections of others.
They would reduce the number of buses on some lines, increase the time between buses on others, and eliminate some evening and weekend service. Authority board members would have to decide whether to put the cuts into effect.
The cuts would eliminate about 4.7 million rides, or about 20 percent of total annual ridership, said Mark Therrien, RIPTA assistant general manager. Service to Tiverton, Scituate, Burrillville, and Glocester would also be eliminated.
RIPTA decided where to make the cuts based on the amount of fares collected, as well as the number of passengers per trip, per hour, and per mile.
The cuts would resolve only part of the agency's $12 million deficit in this year's budget. But $5 million of the deficit could be rolled over to the next fiscal year.
Six public hearings on the proposed service cuts have been scheduled.