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Connecticut considers fare hikes and reduced service for trains

Bridgeport train station is directly connected to the bus station and the ferry landing which helps passengers for easy transfers.
Shoba Dasari
Bridgeport train station is directly connected to the bus station and the ferry landing which helps passengers for easy transfers.

Connecticut train and bus commuters can expect higher fares and less service under proposed changes being considered by the state’s Department of Transportation.

The proposed changes are the result of the bipartisan biennial budget that was signed by Gov. Ned Lamont in June.

It reduces state funding for mass transit to below pre-pandemic levels, in response to a falloff in ridership.

“Commuters are being asked to pay more for less service,” said state Senator Tony Hwang of Fairfield, the ranking Republican on the Transportation Committee.

It is inconsistent with encouraging mass transit when you reduce schedules and raise fares,”

Hwang added the proposal undermines the state’s effort to reduce carbon emissions.

“You are paying more for less service and on the other hand you are saying we are going to commit to reducing air pollution and fossil fuels and taking cars off the road and more electric cars. But at the same time you are discouraging ridership,” Hwang said.

The proposals call for increased fares on Metro-North, which has not had a fare increase since 2018. Twenty-one trains would also be cut from weekday service on the Shoreline East and the Metro-North New Haven lines, as well as 13 bus routes.

The DOT has scheduled public hearings on the proposals for the first week of October.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.

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