Legislators just say ‘No’ to fare hike
Trumbull state representatives David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) are joining other Fairfield County legislators starting a petition drive to stop the proposed 5% Metro-North rail fare hike.
The petition requests that the fare increase that would hit all parts of the Metro-North New Haven rail line be halted and instead other savings be found in the state budget.
Potential savings the Trumbull Republicans suggested included eliminating the admissions tax exemptions for venues including the XL Center, Webster Bank Arena, and Harbor Yard, which would equal the amount projected to be raised from the fare hike.
The Trumbull legislators plan to board Metro North stations to collect petition signatures from area train commuters. The petitions will be presented by the legislators to the Department of Transportation at their agency fare increase public hearing in Stamford on September 14.
“Gov. Malloy and the majority party cut the Metro North subsidy in last year’s state budget and now they want to impose the fare hikes on rail commuters to make up the difference? Shame on them,” Rutigliano said. “Many Trumbull residents ride Metro North to commute back and forth to work and they tell me they are not getting any improvement in their transit service or experience in return for this increase. These commuters have no other option and are left holding the bag, that is not acceptable.”
Devlin, who rode Metro North daily for 15 years, asked when enough was enough.
“Fairfield residents continue to act as the ATM machine for the state,” she said. “The state budget, opposed by the House Republicans but passed by the majority party and signed by the governor, inexplicably cut the Metro North subsidy.”
McGorty called the subsidy reductions “one of the many unfortunate results of the terrible budget passed at the end of last session.
“This administration and majority Democrats are making it harder for businesses to stay in Connecticut, now they’re making it more expensive for people that have jobs to get to them,” he said. “It shows backward priorities, and we need to stand up against this rate hike.”
The online petition is available at nofareincrease.com. The two public hearings closest to Metro North commuters in Fairfield County are September 14, 4 to 9 p.m. at the UConn Stamford auditorium and Sept. 15, 4 to 9 p.m. at the New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2.