EcoRI reports on an effective citizen action to support public transit…
What a difference a year makes. With RIPTA facing a projected $8 million budget shortfall in fiscal 2013, which would translate to about a 25 percent cut in services, schedules and routes without a more stable funding source, a group more than 60 residents and representatives of local businesses, entrepreneurs and advocacy groups descended on the recent House Finance Committee meeting to voice their support for the amendments.[to Public Transit Investment Act (H7581) setting aside 35% of income from license and registration fees for public transit}
After the chairs were filled, attendees spilled into the halls of the Statehouse to watch the proceedings on closed-circuit television. In an an unprecedented show of support for mass transit funding, every person and organization that testified before the committee was in favor of the amendments. Not one voice of opposition was heard in the room.
Paul “Fuzzy” Harrington, president and business agent of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 618, stressed the importance of the bill, saying, “Mass transit is a necessity, not a luxury, to the residents of Rhode Island.
60 people showing up at the State House is pretty good, but shows how few concerned citizens it takes to make a difference. Read the rest here.