transportation

Three Confirmed Dead Following Train, Vehicle Collision

Jun 23, 2014
RIPR FILE

Authorities have confirmed that three people have died as a result of a train collision with a vehicle in Massachusetts.  There were reports earlier of two dead.

Authorities say two men and one woman were killed after a train struck their vehicle late Sunday night.

The Amtrak train was heading north from Washington D.C. when it hit the vehicle in Mansfield; a town about twenty miles between Providence and Boston. Authorities are still investigating what exactly caused the accident.  Craig Schultz, is a spokesman with Amtrak.

thisisbossi / flickr

Rhode Island and seven other states have released their action plan for their collective pledge to put 3.3 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. It's an effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector.

Energy Commissioner Marion Gold of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources says this commitment is in line with the state's goal to curb greenhouse gas emissions. She says the state's energy plan, and the governor's executive council on climate change underscore the goal's importance.

file / RIPR

RIPTA riders are being encouraged to attend public meetings this week about changes on the two most popular bus lines.

RIPTA is turning the number 11 bus line that travels Broad Street in Providence, and the number 99 line that links Providence to Pawtucket on North Main Street into Rapid Bus Lines. Some 11,000 people ride those two lines daily.

In a sign of the growing battle between app-based transportation services, Lyft -- which lets consumers decide how much they want to pay for a ride -- is launching in the Providence market on Friday.

While Lyft bears a few strong similarities to Uber, which came to Providence last September, Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen says the company emphasizes an "in-person experience" and is about "building a community."

RIPR File Photo

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority will no longer offer free bus rides on days with poor air quality. RIPTA is ending the program, because the agency doesn’t have money to support it this year.

RIPTA has offered free rides on days with poor air quality since 1995, according to Amy Pettine, the agency’s director of planning and marketing. It has been a longtime partner with the departments of health, transportation, and environmental management in issuing alerts for poor air quality days.

Dividers Installed Along Pell Bridge In Newport

Feb 6, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Road crews have begun installing hundreds of dividers down the center of the Pell Bridge in Newport. About five hundred three-foot yellow posts will stretch the two mile span.

Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Director David Darlington said the dividers will not keep people from crossing into oncoming traffic, but should help keep those accidents from occurring in the first place.

The public has a chance to weigh in this Friday on a slate of proposed transportation projects that will be paid for out of a new fund.

The new fund helps cities and towns access low-interest loans for road construction projects. It’s modeled after the state’s Clean Water Finance Authority, which over the past 15 years has loaned out $1 billion for municipal sewage treatment projects.

In fact, the Clean Water Finance Authority will administer this new transportation fund.There are 23 projects seeking funding.

thisisbossi / Flickr

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.

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts toured the state with an all-volunteer work group for a number of listening sessions to get a better sense of what’s available to those suffering from dementia and their caregivers. They also wanted to hear about what more can be done to help residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Uber, the on-demand car service that lets users summon a ride via a smart phone app, is set to formally launch in Providence on September 12 (5:30 pm at Tazza, on Westminster Street).

As I recently tweeted in reporting the company's arrival in RI, Uber is a favorite of techies and its origin points to the creative power of the Internet:

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Pablo Rodriguez joins the Roundtable this week as we discuss ongoing mediation over Rhode Island's pension lawsuit; the start next week of a 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge; Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin's decision to become a Republican; and the US Justice Department stepping away from mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.

Welcome back to my weekly column. You can find me on Twitter. Let's head in.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Residents and merchants in the East Bay are sharply opposing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Local lawmakers have joined them in asserting the tolls will hurt the economy in communities near the bridge.

RIPTA Rolls Out Big Changes for a Faster Ride

Jun 10, 2013
Flo Jonic / RIPR

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is planning some big changes.  RIPTA board chair Scott Avedisian outlined them at a press conference Monday morning.

Starting this summer, Rhode Island will have fewer bus stops. RIPTA chairman and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said some bus stops will be removed to make service faster. 

Policy & Pinot: Bicycles in Rhode Island

Apr 21, 2013
Aaron Read / RIPR

Bicycles in Rhode Island

Providence is striving to become a city where young people want to live and work. For many, having a green way to commute is vital. In this Policy and Pinot, hosted by RIPR's Bradley Campbell, we explore how making the city an attractive place to live and bike could boost the capital city’s bottom line.

Moderator:
Bradley Campbell – Environment Reporter / Weekend Host, Rhode Island Public Radio

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