Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

Resolution on Kennedy Plaza

Whereas, the Governor and the RI Department of Transportation are actively promoting a "multi-hub" plan to break up the central bus hub at Kennedy Plaza and send most of the buses and passengers to a more remote location off Dyer St where almost none of the riders want to go, thus making the bus system more confusing and less convenient to use; 

Whereas it was developed with no input from the riders, community groups, or the general public;

whereas the plan's intended use of the 2014 voter-approved $35 million transit bond in order to destroy a central hub is inconsistent with the bond's stated purpose "to fund enhancements and renovations to mass transit hub infrastructure throughout the state of Rhode Island to improve access to multiple intermodal sites, key transportation, healthcare and other locations";

Whereas this plan, apparently developed to accommodate some downtown business interests who regard the presence in Kennedy Plaza of bus passengers as reducing property values, places the burden of enduring the negative impact of the multi-hub plan upon bus riders, who are disproportionately poor and people of color;

Whereas the Governor, recognizing the need to greatly reduce transportation greenhouse emissions, joined the regional Transportation Climate Initiative, for which actually improving the transit system and expanding ridership as called for in the Transit Master Plan is an important tool in helping achieve our state's climate goals;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Environmental Council of Rhode Island respectfully asks the Governor direct her administration to suspend work immediately on its multi-hub plan, and instead convene a robust stakeholder process that includes public transit riders and the environment community to determine how to best use the transit bonds to improve transit hubs in central Providence and throughout the state in order to have a transit system that helps RI to meet its climate, environmental, land use, economic, and mobility goals in a socially equitable manner.

Pub Date: 
Monday, October 5, 2020