Some driver jobs in Rhode Island are being cut.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s board of directors recently approved a move to cut 20 drivers’ jobs and reduce service on 47 bus routes. This is expected to save about $900,000 this fiscal year and $2 million next fiscal year. Officials said service reductions will mostly affect routes with low ridership. RIPTA employs 844 workers and maintains two facilities, one in Newport and one in Providence.
According to an article by WPRI, the agency will still have a deficit of about $8 million even after the savings, meaning more job cuts are likely in the near future. However, Board Chairman John Rupp and other officials are optimistic the state will provide enough money to get RIPTA through the end of this fiscal year, which will end June 30, 2009, without further job cuts.
RIPTA, a quasi-public, independent authority, was established in 1966. The company is authorized to operate public transportation throughout the State of Rhode Island. The agency is operated by a board of directors, made up of eight members.
In addition, the company:
- Serves 38 of 39 Rhode Island communities
- Operates 7 days a week
- Operates 3,300 daily trips on 58 statewide fixed bus routes
- Operates ADA Paratransit Service statewide
- Administers the statewide RIde program for seniors and people with disabilities
- Operates Flex service in 6 Rhode Island communities
- Provides Park ní Ride Service at 27 sites around the State of Rhode Island
- Operates 9.3 million fixed route vehicle miles annually
- Maintains a fleet of 241 fixed route buses, 135 paratransit vans and 17 Flex vans
- Utilizes 2.5 million gallons of fuel per year
- Offers free statewide service on Air Quality Alert Days