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Monday, October 03, 2016

CDOT Officially Announces Fare Increases

Fare increases on Connecticut’s rail and bus systems will take effect in December, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner (CDOT) James P. Redeker announced today.

Train fares will go up 6 percent, including a previously approved 1 percent increase; bus fares will go up 16.7 percent, or 25 cents on a single one-way CTtransit bus trip.

“As we looked to meet our budget requirements, our primary goal was to maintain all existing bus and rail service statewide for the thousands of people who depend on them every day,” said Redeker. “Combined with other steps to reduce expenses, this fare increase allows us to meet that goal.”

Today’s announcement follows a series of six public hearings around the state on the proposed rail and bus fare increases. Almost 400 people commented on the proposed fares.  While some opposed a fare increase of any kind, there were no recommendations to cut service, a CDOT announcement said.

The rail fare increase will apply to the New Haven Line and Shore Line East on tickets purchased for travel to or from stations in Connecticut and will take effect Dec. 1

In addition to the fare increase, the current 2 percent discount on “Mail and Ride” tickets will be eliminated and the discount on the combined monthly rail ticket and unlimited-ride MetroCard will be reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent beginning with the purchase of December tickets, CDOT said.

The bus fare increase, effective Dec. 4, will apply to the eight CTtransit service areas, including Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Bristol, New Britain, Stamford, Wallingford and Meriden, as well as CTfastrak.

Jim Cameron, head of the Commuter Action Group and former WestportNow columnist, said: “Nobody wanted this fare increase.  Not Governor Malloy, not the CDOT and certainly not the commuters. But it was necessitated by the failure of the legislature to pass a balanced budget this spring. 

“The majority Democrats handed their own governor a $192 million deficit and said ‘you figure it out’, and he did, with layoffs, budget cuts and this fare hike.”

Cameron added, “This cements Metro-North in Connecticut’s distinction as the most expensive commuter rail line in the U.S., despite years of declining service, reduced speeds and over-crowding. And I fear this fare hike is only the beginning.”

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Posted 10/03/16 at 06:30 PM  Permalink



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