PROVIDENCE, RI - In an effort to help RIPTA upgrade its services and bolster Rhode Island's public transportation system, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today joined Al Moscola, General Manager of RIPTA, in announcing new federal funding for RIPTA to expand its Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) project and implement the system statewide. Senator Reed secured $1.34 million for the project in the 2008 Appropriations spending bill.

"I am pleased to have secured this additional $1.34 million to help RIPTA make smart technology upgrades. RIPTA faces many challenges during these tough times, but its staff is working hard to provide quality service. This funding will help make RIPTA more efficient and user-friendly," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee. "Everyone is feeling pain at the pump these days, including RIPTA. The Bush Administration needs to work with Congress to rewrite our energy laws and crack down on market manipulation, which is contributing to artificially high gas prices. I will continue working at the federal level to reform our energy policy and bring federal dollars back to Rhode Island."

This is the third installment of federal funding Reed has secured for RIPTA's ITS project. He also secured $1.5 million in both fiscal years 2003 and 2004.

Al Moscola, General Manager of RIPTA, stated: "Thanks to Senator Reed, RIPTA will be able to add Intelligent Transportation System technology to all 240 of its fixed-route buses, bringing the RIPTA bus fleet into the 21st century. This new technology, which will also include real-time information for customers at our transit centers, will result in greatly improved service for our customers. We are very grateful to the senator for securing the funding to make all this possible."

By deploying ITS, RIPTA will improve services by upgrading bus facilities and making the system more efficient and reliable. The ITS system will allow RIPTA to equip each bus in its fleet with Global Positioning Systems, ADA-compliant stop annunciation systems, Schedule Adherence monitoring, and improved data collecting systems. ITS will also improve customer information systems by providing real time information for scheduling and arrival times available to customers by phone and online.

Reed also directed millions of dollars back to the state for important Rhode Island road and transportation projects. He secured over $230.5 million for Rhode Island in the landmark Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Act, ensuring that the state receives $2.96 in federal transportation funding for every dollar Rhode Islanders pay in gas taxes.

For more information on SAFETEA-LU, please visit: