The Treasurer’s Office has announced that the divisions of Unclaimed Property, Investment and Cash Management as well as the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program and the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) will be moving from their current downtown Providence location to 50 Service Avenue in Warwick, effective Monday.
While the Press Release from the Treasurer’s office touts the benefits of this new location (emphasis mine):
“Moving the majority of Treasury divisions to this state-owned facility will help streamline operations and allow staff to serve constituents more efficiently and effectively,” Raimondo said. “Better parking, easy highway access and improved meeting space are all positive changes that should enhance the public’s interaction with Treasury.”
…it fails to point out the massive draw back for those unable to travel by car, the bus service on Jefferson Boulevard, SUCKS!
This is all the bus service from Kennedy Plaza to Jefferson Boulevard (RIPTA Route 8):
|Leave Kennedy Plaza||Arrive Jefferson Blvd.
& Route 95
Assuming the office opens at 8:30am and closes at 5:00pm (I couldn’t quickly track down office hours online), That leaves a grand total of two buses that arrive during those hours.
The Fountain Street location is steps from Kennedy Plaza, accessible to pretty much every bus route in the state. To get to Jefferson Boulevard, most people would need to take a bus from wherever they are, to Kennedy Plaza, then get the bus to Jefferson Boulevard.
Plus, once you get to Jefferson Boulevard, you need to then get back. If one were to take the bus that arrives at 8:26am, their first available bus back to Providence after that, leaves at 3:15pm. Have you ever been to Jefferson Boulevard? There’s precious little to do to kill nearly 7 hours there.
The building is conveniently located off Jefferson Boulevard and offers free parking for visitors.
Convenient to whom?
After about 20 years at its current Providence location, Treasury committed to moving its divisions during Treasurer Frank Caprio’s administration. Treasury’s move to the new facility should save the state about $450,000 in annual expenses and rent.
I’m all about the state saving money, but how much time, effort, and money will be wasted by those who cannot access this new “convenient” location by car?
The state has acres of under-utilized land on Smith Hill which could be redeveloped to consolidate state services. There’s also acres of land at our second capital in Cranston, around the Pastore Complex. While it is far from the main state offices on Smith Hill, the Pastore Center has much better (though still not ideal) public transit options than Jefferson Boulevard, making it truly accessible for all Rhode Islanders, not just those who most highly value free parking and highway access.