To the Editor:
I would like to thank reporter Jennifer Rodrigues for her insightful and balanced article on how the regular riders of Bus 8 have been fighting to keep our bus service that was published in the March 12, 2013 Warwick Beacon.
I’d like to emphasize that if Bus 8 is cut, following the current COA recommendations, the portions of Jefferson Blvd. that are north of the train station will lose bus service, which includes several businesses such as Citizens Bank, Motel 6, UPS, the Fran Conway House of Hope and INSIGHT, to mention a few.
The Warwick Beacon has mentioned many times before that the Jefferson Boulevard area is undergoing a dramatic transformation that will make it a destination in itself over time. There are hotels, new restaurants and the Ocean State Theater Company. RIPTA’s COA does not make even passing mention of the “downtown Warwick” project, other than the new train station. If this bus route is eliminated, it is likely that it would be gone forever. Historically, RIPTA has not restored bus routes once they are cut. Preserving the route would make it much easier to add segments and keep pace with the area’s development.
I would like to thank Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi for his commitment to our cause. It is easy to perceive of elected officials as indifferent to their constituents once in office and beholden only to special and corporate interests. Representative Shekarchi gives the lie to this common perception by siding with our group and showing that he cares about what is going on in the community he represents.