Normally I don't cover local news from Rhode Island on SISG however occasionally there are things that warrant comment.
I use public transit here in RI almost daily. I have to say I wouldn't be so troubled by this news if I didn't see brand new Ford Explorers for managers regularly parked outside the main bus depot at Kennedy Plaza in Providence. These vehicles start at $29k and get 17mpg city and 25mpg highway according to Ford.
Look at the photo I shot of one of these vehicles in Kennedy Plaza (click on photo for full size) - its certainly not a base model with fancy alloy wheels and other extras.
Frankly I find it irresponsible for a public transit agency in this day and age to be buying anything but fuel efficient vehicles - which this is certainly not. Furthermore its even more upsetting that these vehicles are being purchased when the agency is cutting buses - which actually help people get around and reduce cars on the streets. I understand there may be a need for specilized vehicles for RIPTA support staff but these should be hybrids or fuel efficient compact cars. Why does a RIPTA staff member need a fully loaded Ford Explorer with alloy wheels?
I hope that Governor Chafee looks into this matter as I know these issues are important to him.