Riders comment on proposed changes to RIPTA service

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is considering eliminating 20 percent of its bus stops to speed up service.

It's one of the proposals that riders had a chance to comment on Monday at a public hearing in Providence.

RIPTA said the elimination of about 1,000 bus stops is part of a larger plan to run the buses more efficiently. The thought is that cutting the number of bus stops would speed things up.

RIPTA said there are a lot of places where there are stops every block and that they could be stretched out to two blocks instead. The transit agency maintains riders would not have to walk more than 5 minutes to get to a bus stop.

There were no major objections from a small crowd that showed up for the presentation, but there were some requests.

"I would really stress that I hope RIPTA does not cut any services on the lines that service all the Network Rhode Island one-stop career service centers for over 58,000 Rhode Islanders still unemployed," one woman said.

"When you cut any routes, you could be cutting out somebody's lifeline to where it is they're going. I understand why you're doing it. I respect why you're doing it," another woman said.

Another public hearing was held Tuesday night at Warwick City Hall. Five more are scheduled around the state through March 6.