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Sen. Boucher Blasts Train & Bus Fare Increases As Unfair To Commuters

State Sen. Toni Boucher says the public hearing process regarding the increases was a "charade."
State Sen. Toni Boucher says the public hearing process regarding the increases was a "charade." Photo Credit: contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- Sen. Toni Boucher, the ranking senator on the state Legislature's Transportation Committee, called this week's fare hike on bus and rail transportation an added disincentive for commuters to move to Connecticut and an unfair burden for all riders.

"Living in Connecticut is already expensive enough," Boucher said.

"These constant increases in the cost of living are driving those that can afford to move out of state. And for those who can't, it makes working a more costly proposition. When the state increases the cost of a workers commute, it is essentially reducing their pay."

A 6 percent train fare increase goes into effect beginning Thursday, Dec. 1. There will also be an increase in bus fares from $1.50 to $1.75, or 16.7 percent on CTTransit buses.

The fare increase was announced earlier this year to cover $37 million in state budget cuts to the Department of Transportation.

Boucher said that commuters' concerns were ignored by the DOT and the Gov. Dannel Malloy administration during numerous hearings, testimonies and petitions earlier this year on the fare hike proposal. She also noted that legislative efforts to discuss the situation in a special session were ruled out of order by majority Senate Democrats, who had previously announced their opposition to the fare increase.

"People lose faith in their government when they feel ignored and taken for granted," Boucher said.

The public hearing process on this matter was nothing more than a charade, and the commuters of this state have every right to be angry about it. What will it take for the administration to realize these constant increases are causing real damage to our state?

Boucher said she will continue to advocate for commuters and fight any tax and fare increases.

The Republican lawmaker represents Bethel, Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, Westport and New Canaan.

The rail fare increase will apply to Metro-North's New Haven Line and Shore Line East. The current 2 percent discount on “Mail and Ride” tickets will be eliminated. 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.

In addition, WebTicket sales will no longer be available as of Dec. 1.

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

Exact fare prices on trips from stations on the New Haven line to New York can be found by clicking here . Intermediate fares to Greenwich can be found here and intermediate fares to Stamford can be found here .

Click here for a Daily Voice story detailing the fare increases.

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