Activists slam state’s ‘deplorable’ plan to move buses out of Kennedy Plaza

Toting megaphones, waving posters and belting out chants of opposition, activists angered over the state’s…

Toting megaphones, waving posters and belting out chants of opposition, activists angered over the state’s plan to break up downtown Providence’s Kennedy Plaza bus hub made their message clear Saturday: The blueprint is bad.

At a rally in Burnside Park, the Rhode Island Transit Riders Alliance joined local organizations including the Providence Streets Coalition, Grow Smart RI, the Kennedy Plaza Coalition and South Providence Neighborhood Association to call out the state’s Department of Transportation for a plan critics say will hurt communities of color and has lacked public input.

“How is it that you’re not allowing public engagement with public money?” asked SPNA Chair Dwayne Keys. “That’s a problem.”

Patricia Raub, coordinator of RI Transit Riders, talks to protesters who walked from Burnside Park to proposed bus hubs Saturday to protest the planned breakup of the public transit system at Kennedy Plaza.

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Given that the plaza’s buses, operated by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, are heavily used by riders of color, opponents have found the plan all the more troubling. Keys called the situation “deplorable.”