Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.
This week Dave and Mark talk with Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis. They not only discuss why ridership is light on the commuter rail line south of Providence. Director Lewis also talks about the federal highway trust that’s expected to run dry by next year. It’s the state’s only source of transportation funding.
Triple A is out with a study that should be a wake-up call for those who drive while drowsy. The problem of sleepy driving is more prevalent than you might realize.
A study on sleepy driving commissioned by Triple ‘A’ finds that 28 percent of motorists reported being so tired in the past month they had a hard time keeping their eyes open. Motorists between the ages of 19 and 24 were the most likely to report driving drowsy. Elderly motorists and those between the ages of 16 and 18 were least likely to drive drowsy.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the head of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation are planning to inspect an abandoned train tunnel in Providence to see how it could be used in the future. The tunnel was built in 1906 connecting the Seekonk River to the Providence River.
Gov. Chafee said he’d like to see if it could be opened and used for RIPTA buses. DOT director Michael Lewis said there are no firm plans for the old tunnel and the point of Thursday’s inspection is to see if it’s structurally sound.
Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of spending per mile on its roads and bridges. Yet a new report says our highway system is the second worst in the country. The 20th annual Highway Report was published by the Reason Foundation, a Libertarian think tank.
Rhode Island’s roads and bridges are ranked 49th in the nation – with one being the best, according to the Reason Foundation. Only Alaska has a worse highway system than the Ocean State, the group found.
The Newport City Council will be reviewing a plan at Wednesday's meeting to rebuild the famed Cliff Walk damaged last year by Superstorm Sandy. Many in the town are concerned about how a proposed plan could alter the ocean waves that give the historic Breakers mansion its name.