Following reports that a driver for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) refused to move a bus at the direction of Providence Police who were responding to an accident scene on Saturday, September 12, RIPTA officials Monday described the driver’s behavior as “absolutely unacceptable.”
“It is clearly understood that any and all RIPTA employees are to follow the direction of law enforcement officials,” said Barbara Polichetti, Director of Public Affairs for RIPTA. “RIPTA’s management has the utmost respect for our internal labor process as well as our personnel policies and we will follow those policies. But rest assured that swift and decisive action will be taken by our CEO, Ray Studley.
“This behavior will not be tolerated.”
The RIPTA bus was apparently stopped on Memorial Boulevard at the intersection with Washington Street. RIPTA officials are still conducting their own internal review of the incident, but based on information provided by the Providence Police, the driver repeatedly refused a police officer’s instructions to move the bus so police could clear a nearby accident scene. The bus was eventually moved by a RIPTA supervisor.