Many balked at Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposal to jack commuter rail prices by 5 percent and, now, people are starting to fight back.
With pens and voices raised, one Wilton state representative is leading the charge. Republican Gail Lavielle is gathering signatures for her petition to cancel the fare increases, which are scheduled to hit all train and bus routes on December 1st.
WTNH reports that representatives contend the rate hikes will help cover the steep budget cuts imposed by the state Department of Transportation. Estimates project it will generate about $5.9 million to help cover the gaps in the state transportation bill.
Lavielle disagrees that charging more is the answer, stating that putting commuters on the hook to solve their budget problems isn’t fair. She says unless commuters see something in return, such as rail improvements, the government is in the wrong.
Honestly, I agree with that. Unless there’s an incentive for us to fork over even more money (and let’s be real here, we already fork over quite a bit,) we’re basically acting as free-standing ATM machines for our politicians. Budget gaps are no joke, but reaching into our wallets because they’re there is pretty insulting.
This probably is a huge reason why Connecticut is getting ready to turn red this election season.
The state DOT will impose several public hearings on the matter in New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Meriden, and Waterbury. Dates and times have yet to be determined, but they are scheduled for this month.
In the meantime, Lavielle and her colleagues will ride the rails collecting signatures.