RIPTA approves two-year contract extension for Avedisian

Embattled CEO to see 2% pay bump

By: - May 17, 2023 6:19 pm

RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian will see a 2% raise in his newly-approved contract. (Photo by Christopher Shea/Rhode Island Current)

PROVIDENCE — Scott Avedisian will remain CEO of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) for the immediate future.

The RIPTA board of directors Wednesday afternoon voted in executive session to extend Avedisian’s contract for two years. His contract was set to expire at the end of the month.

Board member Patrick Crowley was not present for the vote, as he left earlier in the meeting to testify at the State House.

Under the new contract, Avedisian will see an annual salary of $181,795 — a 2% raise from his previous salary, a similar percentage raise that bus drivers received in their most recent contract. Avedisian will also undergo a newly designed performance review before the RIPTA board next winter.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said of the new term after the meeting. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Avedisian’s future as head of the agency was called into question earlier this year by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, who called on the RIPTA CEO to step down in the wake of the agency’s staffing shortages and finance issues. Ruggerio also said RIPTA should be folded into the state’s Department of Transportation.

Avedisian in turn said his agency has more than stepped up since the pandemic. He highlighted drivers taking on additional responsibilities including Meals on Wheels deliveries and transporting Honeywell workers who made KN95 masks.

“Adaptation is always a good thing, and we’ll keep doing the same thing over the next two years,” he said.

Avedisian also touted a balanced budget and an updated fleet. Though his agency is looking at a budget shortfall of $40 million in the next year, he said he is up to the challenge to find those funding solutions.

“I just keep on going,” Avedesian said. “We’ll just keep on answering questions and working on moving 900,000 people a month.”


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Christopher Shea
Christopher Shea

Christopher Shea covers politics, the criminal justice system and transportation for the Rhode Island Current.