Connecticut Gov. seeks tolls for transit improvementsWritten by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut has been campaigning recently throughout the state, particularly highlighting the need for further investment in transit infrastructure that could lead to major construction work opportunities.
Lamont this week has continued his pushed for a “30-30-30” proposal for half-hour Metro-North rides from Hartford to New Haven; New Haven to Stamford; and Stamford to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, according to local news reports.
“If we can get this state moving again, we can get this state growing again,” the governor stated this week.
United States Sen. Richard Blumenthal reportedly said transportation funding has been essentially frozen by governmental controversies in Washington.
“The federal government is failing you,” Blumenthal said. “It is failing all of us. It is failing to provide the investment in rail, roads, bridges, airports, VA facilities, schools. It is failing every state, not just Connecticut.”
Connecticut Construction Industries Association President Donald J. Shubert has reportedly suggested that there is about $3 billion worth of work to be done on railroad bridges in the state for crews such as his union members.
According to a local news report, Lamont has said he predicts visible improvements in mass transit during the next four years, especially if Congress and the president can unite to form a national infrastructure program.
During a 15-minute news conference at a Metro-North platform, Lamont confirmed that he hopes tolls could serve as a major source of revenue, bringing in up to $800 million a year.
“How do you pay for 40 years of neglect on our roads and bridges?” he said. “How do you speed up the rail service and do what needs to be done?”
State Transportation Commissioner Joseph J. Giulietti, the former president of Metro-North, also explained that it is a serious challenge to speed up trains. With the next generation of lighter cars, in addition to the implementation of Positive Train Control technology, he says it can be accomplished.