Finally, some good news. If you worried over paying more to take the train or bus in CT, worry no more. Governor Dan Malloy confirmed he cancelled those rail and bus fare hikes.
CT Mirror reports that Malloy cancelled the fare hikes after the state adopted a new budget. The budget contained provisions to offset the Special Transportation Fund’s impending insolvency.
Call it a band aid or a quick fix. But, the major news here is people do not have to fork over extra cash to ride the train or bus. Before, the state entertained a 10 percent fare hike for rail passengers and a 14 percent increase for bus passengers.
So, yeah, great news all around that we don’t have to pay that.
Malloy expressed tremendous relief about the good news:
“My administration worked tirelessly this legislative session to ensure adequate funding to keep the Special Transportation Fund solvent in the short term.”
He explained the budget will transfer $29 million in sales tax receipts next to the transportation fund. In addition, the state promised $250 million in General Obligation (GO) Bonds and $750 million in Special Tax Obligation (STO) Bond to support infrastructure work.
Gas tax money pays off STO bonds while the General Fund pays off GO bonds.
Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker complimented the legislature for finding this solution:
“This is great news for Connecticut commuters and I commend the General Assembly for passing a budget that maintains full funding for public transportation and the Department of Transportation in general – at least in the near term.”
However, both Malloy and Redeker made sure to mention this is only a temporary fix. The transportation fund is remains unstable and still face insolvency.
And, with that announcement, came their allusion to tolls. So, you know we’ll hear about them next year.
“If we want to make the necessary investments to keep our transportation infrastructure in a state of good repair in future years, the state will need to find new, long-term funding sources to replace dwindling gas tax revenues. This should not be seen as optional — it’s critical to Connecticut’s future.”
However, that’s a fight for another day. For now, residents should breathe a sigh of relief that these fare hikes didn’t make it through.
For now, the transportation fund will live to see another day sans tolls and fare hikes. Just enjoy knowing that until our lawmakers begin crying about the gas tax and tolls.