In order to cover a projected budget deficit and in response to the budget proposed by the General Assembly, RIPTA CEO Charles Odimgbe says RIPTA services will need to be cut by 10%.
Odimgbe quoted in the ProJo:
“I’m really very frustrated,” he told the authority board of directors. “I don’t know what else to do.”
“Seventy percent of our riders take the bus to work,” Odimgbe said. “That’s what’s so frustrating.”
$4.6 million defecit… public hearings… cuts in September to complete studies hearings and allow drivers to bid on new routes… blah… blah… blah…
I mean what is there more to say? While the Assembly was working hard to make sure we all call a Christmas Tree a Christmas Tree, the Coalition for Transportation Choices had a full legislative agenda to address the annual budget shortfall at RIPTA (and at RIDOT).
It is not like the budget shortfall should be a surprise for the Assembly, from my post last year, here’s the gist of the problem:
The situation is another in a series of fiscal crunches for the authority. It reflects a continuing paradox: as expenses rise, the revenue from a key revenue source, the state fuel tax, is fading. Also, the more successful the authority is at persuading drivers to take the bus, the less fuel they buy and the less money the transit agency gets. The same is true whenever gas consumption declines. The fuel tax is linked to the number of gallons sold rather than to the price.
The CTC’s legislative package addresses this. The Assembly doesn’t even have to do anything, they just need to stop talking about Christmas Trees for a minute, pull their heads out of their asses and vote.
I’ll pull this from last year’s post too:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That’s me, I keep writing this post every year and keep expecting the Assembly to pull their heads out of their asses and address this, and they keep keeping their heads in their asses.
Clearly, I am the one who is insane.