Consider this huge bullet (more like a canon ball) dodged! Connecticut residents breathed a sigh of relief the other day because those dreaded rail fare hikes won’t happen. At least for this year, that is.
New Canaan Advertiser reports that a Republican and a Democrat confirmed the happy news. Senator Chris Murphy, joined by Wilton Sen. Toni Boucher, said residents should feel optimistic. The two assured that no cuts will come to their local branch line train service.
In addition, they promised that residents will not face service cuts or rail fare hikes. Obviously, this comes as a relief to residents who rely on train service to travel to and from work.
Before, the state mulled over jacking up ticket prices by 20 percent and cutting service due to budget shortfalls. Actually, they said these suggestions would keep the transportation fund solvent.
Then again, it’s no secret that the state’s transportation fund is in the middle of a death spiral. Our lawmakers will consider any and all suggestions from keeping it from capsizing around 2021.
However, the majority of commuters disparaged the proposals, saying they unfairly targeted taxpayers. Mostly, residents encouraged our lawmakers to find other ways to increase revenue.
Boucher has since confirmed the Democratic and Republican budget revision proposal did not include the cuts. She also announced that lawmakers ruled out rail fare hikes.
However, neither she nor Murphy went into detail just how our lawmakers will make up for this. Murphy did mention he managed to bring more federal investment into our transportation, though. Sadly, it still isn’t enough to prevent the special transportation fund from defaulting.
Speculation says we might see a higher gas tax in the future. On the other hand, it looks like tolls will not have enough votes to pass. We’ll find out if that’s true later this week.
That said, Murphy echoed residents’ concerns that our lawmakers treat our transportation fund like a piggy bank. Whenever the state needs emergency cash, that’s the first account our politicians strip.
Because of that, Murphy says he fully supports the transportation lockbox. Residents have the chance to vote on this exact matter this year.
That said, breathe a sigh of relief because those rail fare hikes aren’t happening. However, it’s still up in the air about tolls.
I guess we take one victory at a time, right? How do you think our lawmakers will fix our transportation crisis?