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Rodney Square bus riders file complaint against Gov. Carney

The Coalition to Keep Bus Service on Rodney Square claims the Carney Administration violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to deliver copies of communications about the proposal to remove bus routes serving Rodney Square.

The group requested the records nearly five months ago.


According to the Governor’s office, the records requested are under legal review.

John Flaherty, an organizer of the Coalition to Keep Bus Service on Rodney Square and a board member of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, says the Governor’s Office has delayed turning over the requested documents six times.


“Freedom of Information Act talks about decisions are made, but they’re not made in a vacuum. They’re made where citizens have a right to observe, and we’ve been deprived of that right for about a 150 days now,” said Flaherty.

The News Journal reported emails it received through its own public information request show local businesses around Rodney Square lobbied to have the bus service removed.

Flaherty argues that indicates the decision was driven by special interest.

A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office said in a statement that Governor Carney “takes seriously state government’s obligation to operate transparently, and to be accessible to Delawareans.” He added that the Office receives a significant number of requests, and tries to respond to all of them in an efficient and timely manner.

Scott Spencer, a transportation consultant and member of the Coalition to Keep Bus Service on Rodney Square, says the delay has raised concerns for him.

“Why is it taking so long? Is it really that much material?”asked Spencer.

According to Spencer, Gov. Carney told the Coalition at a meeting last December that he supported dismantling the bus hub in the hopes of reducing crime and vacancy in the Square. The transportation consultant says these goals are not supported by research.

Spencer argues that the dismantling of the bus hub in Rodney Square is discriminatory, regardless of the intention behind it, because it has the effect of disadvantaging low-income, disabled and elderly people who depend on the buses.

According to Flaherty, the Governor’s Office has said the review of the requested records should be complete by June 18th.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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