Tag Archives | Service Cuts

News & Notes

McMansion #2

McMansion outside Chicago. Photo (cc) ChicagoGeek

The Atlantic Cities: Have Americans Given Up On McMansions?

After many years of dramatically increasing home size in America – from an average of 983 square feet in the 1950s up to 2300 square feet in the 2000s, despite declining household sizes – the trend appears finally to be going in the other direction. The real estate research firm Trulia found in 2010, for example, that the median “ideal home size” for Americans had declined to around 2100 square feet. More than one-third of survey respondents reported that their ideal preference was lower than 2000 square feet.

The Boston Phoenix: The Fight Against MBTA Service Cuts and Fare Hikes Gets Ugly

The latest theater in the war against MBTA fare hikes and service cuts opened Monday with a bang on every corner of the train map. Occupy Somerville forces rallied in Davis Square. Their Jamaica Plain and Dorchester counterparts gathered at Forest Hills and Fields Corner, respectively, to sound alarms about troubling proposals. Leading the pack, a group of loud and determined teens with the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition joined hundreds from the T Riders Union (TRU) and other activist outfits for a mass rally on Copley Square outside the Boston Public Library, where the MBTA planned a bombshell public meeting for 6pm on Monday night.

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MBTA proposes service cuts, fare increases


MBTA Commuter Rail train at Providence Station. Photo (cc) willismonroe

If the MBTA’s proposals for fare increases and service cuts [.pdf] come to pass, we could be not seeing trains after 10pm or on weekends at Providence Station, or any commuter rail station for that matter. For the remaining trains that continue running, the one-way fare may raise as high as $11.25 from the current $7.75.

While service frequency to T.F. Green was just increased and the train station at Wickford Junction is set to open this spring, the MBTA is facing a monster deficit of $161 million. The deficit was $185 million before the agency knocked $24 million out of it through “efficiencies and savings in energy, operations, health care.” Also, while it is down slightly from 2010 to 2011, non-fare revenue is generally up over the last decade. That leaves fare increases and service cuts as the current last resort for closing the deficit.

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RIPTA submits service/jobs cuts plan to board of directors

Solitary RIPTA bus in Kennedy Plaza

ProJo reports this morning on RIPTA’s plan for service cuts and job reductions to address current budget defecit.

The proposals would reduce the frequency of service on 13 routes, mostly in the evening, and bring a variety of other schedule changes and reductions to save slightly more than $1 million.

The proposals would also eliminate 32 jobs, including 13 maintenance positions, 9 supervisory positions and 10 administrative positions, saving $1.4 million. Some work, such as plowing snow and doing other clean-up tasks, would be outsourced. But some workers would be laid off.

Oh, and Congress may reduce money that RIPTA gets from the Feds by 30%. From RIPTA:

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Save RIPTA petition

The Sierra Club of Rhode Island has started a petition to urge the Governor and the General Assembly to properly fund RIPTA and avoid service cuts.

With demand for transit service at record levels, now is NOT the time to reduce bus service in Rhode Island. Public transportation is vital to the health of the state’s economy and environment, and it benefits riders and non-riders alike. RIPTA provides affordable convenient access to transportation that makes it possible for those who can’t drive to get where they need to go, lowers individual transportation costs, eases congestion, and reduces carbon emissions. Public transportation also makes important contributions towards alleviating the serious national challenge of energy security, and it encourages more active lifestyles that help combat the obesity epidemic.

Unfortunately, RIPTA has a structural deficit problem because its funding comes from the declining revenues of the gas tax, at the same time that its operating costs are increasing due to higher fuel prices. For the economic, environmental, and social well-being of Rhode Island, we call on the General Assembly and Governor to create a secure and stable funding mechanism to ensure that there will be no cuts to public transportation service.

Go to to view and add your name to the petition.


RIPTA Riders Rally, Aug 1

RIPTA Riders

Monday, August 1 • 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Kennedy Plaza in front of Providence City Hall

Join fellow Rhode Island citizens outraged by the service cuts that have been proposed for the state’s public transit system as we come together to protest the proposals outside Providence City Hall at 1:30. Hear RIPTA riders and transit advocates make the case for saving public transportation.

Afterward (2:00 at URI’s Providence Campus, 80 Washington Street), take the message to the public hearing that is being held to gather public input on the reductions.

If the cuts go forward as planned, 39 routes will suffer reductions in service, and 8 routes face elimination entirely. These are the most drastic cuts ever proposed to Rhode Island’s transit system. This loss of service will be a terrible burden to our economy and an even greater hardship for RI’s most vulnerable communities.

For the economy, for social justice, for the environment or public health, for whatever reason you value RIPTA come out and show your support. They need it.

There is also a Service Reduction Hearing at URI’s Providence Campus at 6pm, for those who cannot make a mid-day hearing.

Event on Facebook.


No one ever has to “speak up” to keep roads open

From the Warwick Beacon:

“The governor always pushed for greater efficiencies to minimize service reductions,” said Fred Sneesby, a spokesperson for Governor Donald Carcieri.

Right now the fare increases and service reductions have not been set in stone and Sneesby encourages anyone affected by these changes to make their voices heard at the open meetings.

“People need to speak up,” said Sneesby.

No one ever has to attend a public hearing to say, “yes, I’d like you to keep Route 95 open this year please.”

I’m just saying.


RIPTA hearings next week on fare increases and service cuts

Photo by Jef Nickerson

RIPTA News Release [.pdf] on Fare Increases, Service Cuts, and related public hearings next week:

RIPTA to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Fare Increase and Service Modification
Steep Budget Deficits Driving Proposal

Hearings Scheduled for July 6th, 7th and 8th in Providence, Warwick, Barrington, Newport and Narragansett

PROVIDENCE, RI, June 28, 2010 – The Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) voted on May 24, 2010, to hold public hearings on proposed fare increases and service modifications in all five Rhode Island counties on July 6, 2010, July 7, 2010 and July 8, 2010. The Authority announced that the proposed fare hikes and modifications in service statewide are due to a carryover deficit from FY 2010 (which began July 1, 2009) of $1.6 million and a $2.1 million shortfall for FY 2011 that is caused principally by a reduction in revenue from the state gas tax.

The proposed fare increases would raise the base fare from $1.75 to $2.00, and impact the cost of RIPTIKs, 10-Ride Passes, 15-Ride Passes, One-Day Passes, 7-Day Passes, Monthly Passes and ADA Fares. If approved by the RIPTA board, the fare increases would take effect September 1, 2010, and the proposed service reductions would take effect in August 2010 when RIPTA implements their regular fall service changes.

Proposed Fare Increases
The Authority is proposing to increase fares as follows:

Fare Media Current Proposed
Base Fare $1.75 $2.00
Seniors/Disabled (off peak) $0.85 $1.00
RIPTIKS (10) $17.50 $20.00
15-RIDE Pass $23.00 $26.00
Monthly Pass* $55.00 $62.00
ADA (RIde Program) $3.50 $4.00

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