Sen. Hwang, Commuters Speak Out Against Fare Hikes

September 20, 2016


State Senator Tony Hwang’s Testimony on CT Public Transportation Proposed Fare Changes

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus, One University Place, Stamford

“Speak now or forever reach deeper into your pocket.”

That’s how my friend Jim Cameron, a tireless advocate for commuters in our region, put it in a call to action against these proposed fare hikes.

I am State Senator Tony Hwang.

And on behalf of the 100,000 residents I represent in Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Westport and Weston, I am speaking out against these fare hikes.

I am speaking out in order to put a stop to the State of Connecticut’s attempt to reach deeper into commuters’ pockets.

I am speaking out on behalf of commuters who have no alternatives other than Metro North. The men and women who ride the train are, as Jim Cameron notes, “a captive audience.”

I am joining with Democrats leaders like Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, who recently noted that “No one is for these hikes.”

I am joining with Republicans like Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Scott Frantz, and Rep. Laura Devlin, Rep. Brenda Kupchick.

These lawmakers are all champions for commuters. They agree that this proposal is bad.

I will also continue to push for reforms to help commuters. That includes the re-evaluation and possible re-negotiation of the Metro-North contract.

Because – unfortunately fares will continue to go up and up and up unless we re-evaluate that contract and make reforms and bring back accountability to our transportation infrastructure and service.

Fares will continue to go up and up unless and until we inject more predictability, sustainability and transparency into the system.

I would venture to guess that virtually every commuter in this audience tonight believes that CT DOT will raise fares no matter what we say, how we say it and how many times we repeat our opposition.

You know what that tells me?

That tells me the system is broken.

That tells me that there is no trust or respect for the consumer in the process. And that’s truly a shame.

I would like to offer my strongest support to be a part of the vision and solution moving forward and bring a world class level of transportation infrastructure and service for our valued commuting public.

Attached photo: Sen. Hwang listens to commuter advocate Jim Cameron during the Sep. 14 public hearing in Stamford on the state’s proposed rail fare hikes. Sen. Hwang opposes the hikes.