AREAWIDE — Sen. Art Linares and Rep. Devin Carney issued the following statements regarding the state’s decision to hike rail and bus fares Dec. 1 despite vocal opposition from lawmakers and angry commuters:
“Rep. Carney, area commuters and I attended the Sept. 1 fare hike public hearing at Old Saybrook Town Hall to send a clear message,” Sen. Linares said. “That message was that the overall cost of living in Connecticut continues to grow and grow. From state tax hikes to health care expenses, costs keep going up year after year. I hear this every day from people in the communities I represent.
He continued, “That’s why I asked the DOT to not increase fares. That request fell upon deaf ears, and it really shows how the voices of working families and people on fixed incomes are not being heard by our state government. Tax hike after tax hike. Rate hike after rate hike. Fare hike after fare hike. We need to change course. We need to get off this unsustainable path. Rep. Carney and I will continue to be voices for taxpayers and commuters until our message is heard in Hartford.”
Rep. Carney commented, “My concern with the fare hike is twofold. First off, I believe the process was flawed. The DOT held several public hearings and the point was to hear how this proposal would impact the people. Across the state there was overwhelming opposition to this plan, yet it seems those views fell on very deaf ears and it appears the DOT was just paying lip service. Second, as I stated in my comments, I understand fare hikes will occur from time to time, but rail fares have risen drastically since 2012 due to similar hikes over the past four years.”
He added, “These perpetual increases are unfair to commuters – especially the working class. Utilizing Shoreline East and Metro-North, as opposed to further clogging I-95, is something that the state should promote and encourage – yet I worry that some people may soon be priced out of using these trains as an option.”
Sen. Linares (Art.Linares@cga.ct.gov) represents Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 or on the web at www.SenatorLinares.com.