Greater City Providence

Sidewalk rant: Bus stop edition

RIPTA bus stop on Jefferson Blvd

I’ve seen bus shelters along Douglas Ave completely inaccessible and people standing in the street waiting for the bus. Outside my office on Jefferson Blvd, my coworkers wait for their bus at the above pictured shelter which also has not been graced by a shovel.

I see the fire department shovel out the fire hydrants. Property owners are supposed to shovel their sidewalks. So, who’s responsibility is it to shovel out the bus stops?

  • Is it RIPTA’s responsibility to clear these?
  • Is it just part of the sidewalk and fall on the town/city’s responsibility?
  • Does Lamar own these shelters? Does that make them responsible?
  • If I fell… who would I sue?

Matthew Coolidge

Matthew Coolidge is co-founder of Greater City Providence. In addition to the occasional blog post about cycling, sailing, or urban rant, he works as an Electrical Engineer, often traveling to major cities and ports around the globe, or simply Warwick.


  • Talking out my ass here. I guess whoever owns the property the bus stop is adjacent to would be responsible for it. But I don’t think there is anything anywhere that says anyone is responsible for clearing a path between the street and the sidewalk so people don’t have to scale the snowbank to get to the bus.

    Yesterday I rode the trolley (well it was a RIde van since the trolleys don’t run in the snow, but Newport haaaaaad to save them oops, different rant) from Dominica Manor to the tunnel (well to K. Plaza where I had to switch… geeze, there’s a RIPTA rant in me trying to get out). The stop at Dominica Manor is usually well cleared by the grounds crews there. Yesterday though, the sidewalk was clear, but the snow bank was there and little old ladies were hiking up their skirts trying to climb over it. Unsual for Dominica, they usually do a wonderful job.

  • I’ve asked RIPTA in the past about a similar bus-stop question (trash cans in the bus shelter). The response was “RIPTA does not furnish or maintain trash barrels at bus stops. I recommend that you contact the town and request a barrel from them.” I assume that RIPTA would give the same answer for snow shoveling.

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