RIPTA Board Meeting Minutes June 2015 GrowSmart RI In Attendance .
Coalition Radio Show - RIPTA Riders Alliance - Show Podcast
Mr. John Flaherty, Deputy Director - Grow Smart RI, responded to our concerns in the following letter ...
Good talking with you briefly just now.
Here's some background on Grow Smart's position regard to the proposed changes to RIPTA fares for senior and disabled passengers.
Grow Smart evaluated H-6108 which proposed amending the state-mandated RIPTA fare structure providing for free travel to seniors and disabled passengers, allowing RIPTA management to charge ½ fare during peak travel periods. This was being pursued in part to help address an estimated operating deficit of approximately $5M and to align RIPTA’s fare structure with the majority of other transit agencies across the country.
Grow Smart reluctantly supported the measure – reluctantly because we realize the hardship it would create for those least able to afford it, but we concluded that the potential for loss of service may pose a greater hardship for those who rely on RIPTA to get to/from work, doctors office, grocery stores, etc.
The proposal was eventually folded into the State Budget as Article 22 Sub A and expanded to allow RIPTA management to completely eliminate free fares during peak and off-peak travel periods. This measure passed as part of the State Budget.
Grow Smart testified at the Board of Directors meeting of RIPTA on June 22, urging the board to not eliminate free fares for elderly or disabled passengers who meet the income means test and who travel during off-peak periods. The decision now rests with the RIPTA Board of Directors but must first be subject to a public hearing process.
Grow Smart Rhode Island
235 Promenade Street, Suite 550
Providence, RI 02908
401.273.5711, Ext. 5