Our Buses Need Your Help

What is the fiscal cliff?

  1. In 2024, RIPTA will be $33 million in the hole. That’s the “fiscal cliff.” In future years, the hole will exceed $40 million.
  2. Pre-COVID, RIPTA was funded by the state gas tax, fare revenue, and some additional state funds. But RI’s state and local contributions are significantly less per capita than other states.
  3. When the pandemic hit in 2020, fare revenue decreased, leaving transit agencies in jeopardy nationwide. The federal government gave emergency relief funding to RIPTA to fill the gap.
  4. This money will soon run out before full ridership recovery, resulting in critical budget shortfalls for transit systems nationwide. Next year in 2024, RIPTA will be left with a fiscal cliff of $33 million, quickly exceeding $40M in following years. There is no federal solution, and action on the state level is required.
  5. RIPTA’s operating expenses are projected to increase due to inflation, while gas tax revenue will decrease as more RI’ers switch to electric vehicles. As a result, the budget gap will continue to increase, and RIPTA will need a sustainable, long term funding source.

A Transit Death Spiral:

Left unaddressed, the fiscal cliff will result in catastrophic service cuts, reducing your ability to move around the state. Service cuts mean fewer people will ride the bus. Less money will be collected in fares. Then more service will be cut.

RIPTA gives tens of thousands of people access to Rhode Island’s crucial services, jobs, and opportunities. Transit is an economic engine for our state, and a key part of the solution to climate change. Letting transit die would be detrimental to our state’s equity, economic, and environmental goals.

Please contact our elected leaders and tell them that we need a fully funded RIPTA!

How will this affect my bus route?

RIPTA is currently projecting the following changes, though they are not definite:

  • Elimination of routes: 6, 9x, 10x, 12x, 16, 23, 24L, 40, 58, 59x, 61x, 64, 65x, 68, 73, 95x, and Qx, resulting in:
      • Elimination of paratransit on these corridors
      • Complete elimination of fixed route service to towns of Burrillville, Gloucester, Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich, Richmond, Hopkinton, Tiverton, and Westerly
  • Reduced frequencies and span on routes 1, 20, 21, 22, 31, 54, 55, 56, 57, 60, 66, 67, 72, 78, 92
  • Elimination of all supplemental Providence school service
  • Elimination of the Beach Bus

Follow any of these transit advocacy groups to receive future action alerts:

Rhode Island Transit Riders: @transitRI

Providence Streets Coalition: @pvdstreets

GrowSmart RI: @growsmartRI

Next March, the state legislature will hold hearings for RIPTA’s budget, and your voice will be crucial.