RI considers merging state’s transportation agencies

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ In an effort to improve public transit, Rhode Island is weighing whether to merge three of the state’s transportation agencies.

The proposed merger involves the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) and the Public Transit Authority.

A spokesperson for RIDOT tells Eyewitness News the departmental restructuring could improve the quality, cost and reliability of public transportation statewide.

RIDOT currently has numerous road improvement projects in the works and is likely looking to cut costs while the state operates in a structural deficit.

While the proposed merger hopes to make state transportation decisions more efficient, the re-organization does raise questions as to how the state can improve all three agencies, since RIDOT is tasked with overseeing the other two.

On Thursday, RIDOT began reaching out to and meeting with employees of all three organizations in an effort to receive feedback and answer any questions related to the proposal.

An employee that reached out to Eyewitness News said the unions representing all three agencies’ workers are against the merger.

Eyewitness News reached out to RIPTA, RIBTA and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 618 for comment but has yet to hear back.

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