STAMFORD, Conn. -- Commuters who want to speak out about proposed fare hikes on Metro-North trains and CTTransit buses can have their say on Wednesday at the University of Connecticut at Stamford.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is holding public hearings there in the afternoon and evening to discuss the proposed bus and rail fare increases.
The proposed 5 percent rail fare increase would take effect Dec. 1 on the New Haven Line of Metro-North railroad and Shore Line East. The proposed bus fare increase would take effect on Dec. 4 on CTTransit and CTFastrak buses.
The fare increases are proposed to help balance the budget for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Road and bridge program reductions total $19 million and public transportation program reductions total $18 million, for a total of $37 million in cuts.
CTDOT's proposed increase on the New Haven commuter rail line, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branches, and Shore Line East, would generate about $5.9 million in new revenue. On the New Haven Line, the increase would be combined with a 1 percent previously scheduled fare increase that supports the purchase of the new M-8 rail cars that the state put into service beginning in 2010.
Another $7.2 million would be saved through Shore Line East fuel savings, reducing New Haven Line overtime costs, and the closing of underused ticket windows at the Greenwich, South Norwalk and Bridgeport stations, which occurred this past weekend.
The standard one-way fare on the state-wide CTtransit services would go up 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75, and the express bus fares and other pre-paid fare types would rise a proportional percentage – generating an estimated $2.3 million.
Commuters can let the DOT know how these fare increases would impact them and their families by attending these scheduled meetings:
- Stamford: Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the University of Connecticut Stamford Campus, Auditorium One, at University Place in Stamford;
New Haven: Thursday, Sept. 15, f from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. in the New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2, 200 Orange St., New Haven
Residents can also email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, submit comments through the DOT’s website or mail comments to: Comment on Fare Changes Bureau of Public Transportation 2800 Berlin Turnpike P.O. Box 317546 Newington, CT 06131-7546
The comment period closes Sept. 15.