What is it?

The Move RI Forward Coalition is a partnership among private sector, advocacy and community organizations to educate citizens about the benefits of the $35M Transit Infrastructure Bond Referendum and to advance its passage. Passage of the bond would help to fund enhancements and renovations to mass transit hub infrastructure throughout Rhode Island improving mobility and access to job centers with greater efficiency and convenience.

What we stand for

A modern transit system is good for our economy and will help to grow jobs. Nationally and in Rhode Island, a 21st century mass transit system is becoming increasingly important to the economic prosperity of metropolitan areas, particularly among Gen Y and Millennials who are about to dominate the workforce.

Rhode Island needs to expand the capacity and the convenience of its transit system. Ridership growth on RIPTA now ranks 7th fastest among large bus agencies in the U.S. The transit improvement proposal represents an opportunity to meet the growing demand for public transportation, provide improved passenger facilities and establish seamless connections with MBTA commuter and Amtrak interstate rail service.

A more convenient and efficient mass transit system reduces traffic congestion and pollution. While some of us ride it, we all need it. Increased use of mass transit reduces traffic and resulting auto emissions. The transportation sector is currently the largest and fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Rhode Island.

Mass Transit Hub Infrastructure Bond Project Proposal

Passage of Question 6 would allow the state to continue to build upon investments already made and underway in modernizing Rhode Island's transportation system and better positioning the state to compete in a global economy. Specifically, it presents an opportunity for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to work with its partners to improve public transit and connectivity with other travel services across the state and throughout the region – while opening the door to private investment.

RIDOT and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority have developed a plan to reimagine public transportation in Rhode Island, moving away from the current single "hub" model and creating a more robust system with direct, rapid connections to employment, educational, and social centers – as well as improved connections with rail and air. This new 21st century system would transform how transit moves through the capital city and connects with the furthest reaches of the state; it would include two new mass transit centers at the Providence Train Station and the emerging LINK district, enhanced commuter rail service, rapid bus lines, improved service frequency on popular corridors, added express options and park and ride locations throughout the state, and enhanced passenger amenities.

This new vision for travel in Rhode Island would benefit not only the system's current users but also attract a new generation of users who value transportation choice and convenience. Ultimately, reliable transportation and livable, walkable communities are needs that all Rhode Islanders can relate to; our families, our industries, and our economy depend on them.

As with the revitalization of the Providence waterfront in the 1980s and the addition of a state-of-the-art transportation center at the Warwick Interlink and the Newport Gateway Center, we have the opportunity now to welcome the next phase of development that will support this larger vision for travel in Rhode Island while fostering economic growth, public/private partnership, and innovation; just as similar transportation investments have across the country. To improve Rhode Island's tomorrows, we must invest today.

For more information about the MRIF Coalition, contact John Flaherty (401.273.5711 Ext. 5) or jflaherty@growsmartri.com.