RIPTA Gets $5M Action Plan Grant to Develop a Roadmap for Safety Improvements
31 cities and towns across RI will develop a Safe Streets action plan and may use it to apply for additional federal funding for roadway safety upgrades
PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to improve traffic safety and prevent roadway accidents, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation and Governor Dan McKee today announced a new $5 million federal Action Plan Grant for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) under the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline helped create the SS4A program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and made $5 billion in competitive SS4A funding available over five years. This program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, provides dedicated federal funding to support regional and local road safety projects and strategies that will make busy roadways safer and help prevent deaths and serious injuries.
RIPTA will use the new federal funding to develop a Safe Streets action plan covering 31 Rhode Island communities. This plan will provide a roadmap to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users. Once the plan is developed, municipalities will be able to apply for Implementation Grants through the SS4A program. Providence recently received a $27.2 million SS4A Implementation Grant Under the law, at least 40 percent of SS4A funding is set aside annually for Action Plan Grants and up to 60 percent is available for Implementation Grants.
“This federal funding will help develop a plan to reduce traffic crashes and congestion by making Rhode Island’s roads safer and more accessible for all,” said Senator Reed. “Promoting safe, shared streets and public transit will help ensure Rhode Islanders can safely get where they need to go. I appreciate the steps RIPTA is taking with community partners to make our transportation network safer for all and this federal funding will accelerate progress toward that goal.”
“I’m grateful to RIPTA for spearheading this statewide effort to makes roads safer for drivers, pedestrians, bus riders, and cyclists,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This award is an example of our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in action preparing Rhode Island’s infrastructure for the twenty-first century.”
“Rhode Island’s public transportation system is a key resource for so many across the state, and we need to ensure that our streets are safe for riders and everyone on the road,” said Congressman Cicilline. “This funding will help cities and towns across the state improve roadway safety and reduce fatalities and injuries. I thank RIPTA for working with our local leaders to make Rhode Island’s roads safer for us all.”
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Rhode Island is set to receive another $5 million to improve our local infrastructure and reduce preventable injuries along our roadways,” said Congressman Seth Magaziner. “RIPTA can put these federal dollars to good use by improving roadway safety, reducing congestion, and making it easier for Rhode Islanders to get around.”
“Rhode Island is continuing to make tremendous strides in improving our roads and public transportation – this $5 million federal grant is another boost to our momentum,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Rhode Island’s success in securing funding to make our streets safer is a direct result of strong collaboration between our Congressional delegation, the League of Cities and Towns, the Partnership for RI and my Administration – it’s further proof that great things happen when Rhode Island comes together.”
“RIPTA is grateful to Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse and Congressman Cicilline for working together to create this Safe Streets and Roads for All grant opportunity,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian. “Our passengers are active street users - relying on accessible sidewalks, visible crosswalks, and clearly marked boarding areas. Building a statewide action plan for our roadways will not only improve access to public transit but make our streets safer for every Rhode Islander.”
“Rhode Island’s cities and towns extend their appreciation to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressmen Cicilline and Magaziner for their efforts in securing safe streets and roadway funds for our communities,” said Ernie Almonte, Executive Director of the RI League of Cities and Towns. “This grant will support municipal efforts to modernize our infrastructure, build safe roadways around new housing developments and encourage the use of public transit which will lessen our environmental impact.”
“This award shows what Rhode Island is capable of doing when cities and towns come together on a common goal. Thanks to our incredible Federal delegation - led by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse - and the leadership from the McKee Administration, we are punching above our weight,” said Tom Giordano, Executive Director of the Partnership for RI. “This grant, which Compete RI helped coordinate, will build a better and safer statewide transportation system for drivers, walkers, bikers, and riders. CompeteRI and the Partnership for Rhode Island will continue to build on this kind of success.”
The federal grant will help RIPTA develop a statewide action plan for more than 1 million Rhode Islanders, including 65,000 people in underserved communities. RIPTA will use the federal funds to build upon the state’s transit master plan, as well as RIPTA’s goals, to improve transportation in all forms statewide.
Rhode Island ranked 34th among states for the number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, with the ninth-largest percentage increase in pedestrian fatalities as of 2020, according to a report by Smart Growth America.
The 31 municipalities participating in this safe streets action plan development include: