Tag Archives | Jack Reed

Wheelchair accessible taxicabs coming to Rhode Island


If you don’t use a wheelchair yourself (or no one you know does), you might not have realized that until now, no taxi companies in Rhode Island had wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Now, thanks to work by RIPTA and funding secured by Senator Reed, we are for the first time bringing accessible taxis to Rhode Island. Some have already started operating.

The taxis are modified Dodge Caravans that allow a person in a wheelchair to access the vehicle directly from the back without having to leave their chair. The configuration of the vehicle allows for other passengers not in wheelchairs to also ride in the cab. There is no additional charge for the accessible taxi service.

Learn more in the press release from RIPTA below:

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U.S. Senate passes 2-year – $109 billion transportation bill

cpan senate highway bill

CSPAN screen capture via DC.Streetsblog

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed a two-year, $109 billion transportation bill on a bi-partisan vote of 74 to 22. The bill is set to move to the House of Representatives where House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been unable to muster support for a 5-year bill that everyone from transportation activists, to Republican Representatives in urban districts, and Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood panned as a giant step backwards in transportation planning and funding.

While the House bill was widely panned, the Senate bill passed yesterday is finding broad support:

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Congressman Langevin’s letter about SOPA

Congressman Jim Langevin released the following statement regarding SOPA this morning:


Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

Dear Friend,

Recently I expressed my strong opposition to the overreaching and much-debated proposals before Congress to combat Internet piracy and I wanted explain my deep concerns about why this issue is important for our economy and our values.

We must take seriously the impact of intellectual property theft, whether it involves plans for a fighter jet or the newest Hollywood blockbuster. It’s one reason that I have sounded the alarm about the importance of strengthening cybersecurity.

Unfortunately, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), designed to prevent user access to websites that offer bootlegged material, would damage efforts to increase transparency and security online by allowing US companies to actively seek to shut down other companies’ websites, without court order or government involvement, while placing difficult burdens on the infrastructure of the Internet. This approach is counter to our pursuit of openness online in places like Iran, North Korea, and China. Furthermore, nearly every major internet technology company is against this bill because it stifles the same open technological environment they used to develop the products we depend on every day.

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Wickford Junction Station

Photo (cc) EdKopp4

Update Reports from the Wickford Junction Station groundbreaking state that the FTA announced that they have just authorized the release of nearly $2M in federal funds to RIDOT for preliminary engineering of a proposed MBTA commuter rail stop in Pawtucket.

WPRI has all the commuter rail details from the groundbreaking today of the Wickford Junction Station.

The MBTA plans to make three round trips daily between Boston and Warwick when the airport station first opens this fall. That will increase to eight by the time Wickford opens next year, according to R.I. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Dana Alexander Nolfe.

The number of passengers using the Wickford Junction station daily is forecast to rise from about 1,500 when service starts in 2011 to 1,669 in 2020, according to projections made in 1995 and cited by state planners. An additional 240 commuters are expected to use the Warwick station.

A ticket from North Kingstown to Boston will cost $9 each way, and a monthly pass will cost $280, Nolfe said. To go from North Kingstown to Providence, a one-way ticket will cost $2.75 and a monthly pass will cost $101.

One-way trips from Warwick will cost slightly less – $2.50 to Providence and $8.25 to Boston. Officials hope the airport station will be ready to open in October. That project’s final cost is estimated at $267 million.

The Wickford Junction station is set to open sometime next year. In addition to Wickford Junction, MBTA service is being considered for the Kingston and Westerly Amtrak stations, and at new stations in Pawtucket, Cranston, and East Greenwich.

Ted Nesi from WPRI also spoke with Senator Reed about the long process of making this station happen. It actually started with Senator Pell, remember him? No, neither do I.


News & Notes

Washington, DC expands bike sharing program [Good]

U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood turned transportation policy on its head with a declaration that pedestrians and cyclists should be treated as equals with drivers. That means federal dollars for more projects geared toward walking and cycling. [NPR]

Emergency transit funding bill introduced by Senator Jack Reed and others [Transportation For America]

R.I. Senate takes a new look at miles-driven tax [ProJo]

How Portland Sold Its Banks on Walkable Development [StreetsBlog]

One in five licensed drivers — some 38 million Americans — lack the knowledge necessary to pass a written driving test, and even more are distracted while driving, according to a survey released Thursday. [CNNMoney]