Approval of Ballot Question 6 would help mass transit

(WPRI) — In next month’s general election voters are going to be asked to approve a $35 million bond for mass transit infrastructure.

A report from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation names connectivity as one of the big challenges for people who use mass transportation. The example they use is in Providence, claiming it’s a seven to 10 minute outside walk to connect from a bus to a train.

Approval of Question 6 would help build a new bus hub on a plot of land near the train station and expand access at key points throughout the state.

“This bond issue is going to enable Rhode Island to bring money to the table to leverage federal dollars and private dollars so we can create the kind of transit system that’s going to make Providence and Rhode Island competitive,” said Rhode Island DOT director, Michael Lewis.

But Mike Stenhouse of the R.I. Center for Freedom and Prosperity said the state cannot take on any more debt, saying if the state does, it should only be to rebuild roads and bridges, not mass transit.

“We start programs, the feds fund it for a limited period of time, the federal funding goes away and we’re stuck with maintaining or keeping up the payments that were started,” he said.

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