Senate approves President Ruggerio’s proposals
to align Rhode Island’s transit goals, enhance transparency
STATE HOUSE – The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation sponsored by Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) that would help align the state’s transit goals and increase transparency in the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s purchasing process.
The first piece of legislation, 2023-S 0991A, provides that the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation shall serve as the Chairperson of the Board of RIPTA. This is an amended version of an earlier proposal, which would have placed much of RIPTA’s operations under the auspices of RIDOT.
“While I believe that RIDOT should oversee all transportation matters in our state, including public transit, this is an important step toward alignment of all our transportation goals, effective procurement and efficient use of federal funds, and moving our public transportation agency forward,” President Ruggerio said.
The second piece of legislation, 2023-S 0773, would require that procurements by RIPTA with a cost between $10,000 and $50,000 receive approval from the agency’s Board of Directors. Procurements by the agency in excess of $50,000 would be subject to a competitive bidding process.
“This bill was developed in response to questions raised during the Senate Oversight Committee’s hearing on RIPTA earlier this year. It will actively engage the agency’s Board of Directors in the purchasing process by providing clear guidance, enhancing transparency, and ensuring valuable oversight,” President Ruggerio said.
The proposals now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.