Public hearings begin on bus service cuts

PROVIDENCE, RI – Public hearings on the proposed budget cuts by Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) are scheduled to begin at Newport city hall.

RIPTA says the cuts are caused by a loss of revenue from the state gas tax combined with rising fuel costs. The proposed cuts affect 35 communities and 39 bus routes. Other proposed changes are to end service at 10 pm instead of midnight, and eliminate service on holidays.

Many frequent bus riders say they are upset and frustrated with the proposed cuts.

"I don't take these routes, but I think everyone's going to be affected," says one rider. "They're getting all this money for funding and then they're cutting us off. It's bad enough people have to have a hard time traveling as it is. I think they need to review their whole system."

The hearings will continue through August 2nd.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.