The last of the hearings by the State Department of Transportation on a proposed rail fare increase was held last night. The DOT wants to hike Metro North and other rates by 5-percent.
Wilton state Senator Toni Boucher says the state must economize and become more efficient, rather than turning to an already overburdened taxpayer. Boucher says the state cannot ask commuters for more when the Malloy administration has give their own employees overly generous wage increases. She cited a 12-percent raise to over 200 of the Governor's staff. Boucher says to turn around and hike rail tickets is patently unfair.
Boucher says the proposed increase is astronomical compared to past proposals. She noted that it's also on top of 1-percent every year the DOT is assessing.
Lawmakers from Fairfield County have been collecting petition signatures against the proposal. Boucher says that's because their constituents are disproportionately affected by the proposed increase. She also says their constituents are the largest taxpayers in the state in helping to fund the entire state.
Connecticut commuters pay more than New York riders because the state of New York subsidizes their train ticket 50-percent. Connecticut only subsidizes the cost of a ticket by 25-percent.