WHEREAS, In November 1995, Congress and the Administration signed into law an Appropriations Act which reduces Mass Transit Operating Assistance, as administered by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, by 47.6% or approximately 2 million dollars. This single catastrophic action has placed Rhode Island transit operations into the largest financial crisis in the Authority's 30 year history; and
WHEREAS, Future reductions and the eventual elimination of Operating Assistance from federal sources loom on the horizon; and
WHEREAS, Demographically, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority's ridership is a mirror of the entire state. Fifty-six percent of RIPTA's passengers commute to the Capital City from the outlying suburbs for purposes of employment, thereby paying taxes and bringing commerce into the community; and
WHEREAS, Mass transit provides a positive impetus to the Rhode Island economy, while also reducing traffic congestion and lowering the level of pollutants in the environment; and
WHEREAS, Mass transit in the Ocean State, an efficient effective operation, provides fixed route and paratransit services which undeniably benefit all Rhode Islanders; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby memorializes the Congress of the United States to reinstate Federal Operating Assistance as fully authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to all of the members of the Rhode Island delegation to the United States Congress.