May 1, 2006

Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore John McKinney (R-Fairfield) today hailed the state senate’s passage of a $2.3 billion transportation improvement package that will bring much needed relief to the congested roads and highways in Fairfield County. The plan calls for the implementation of several highway and mass transit projects throughout the state over the next ten years, doing so without the use of tolls or increasing the gas tax. The plan now heads to Governor Rell’s desk where she has pledged to sign it into law.

“This plan is an absolute home-run for those of us in Fairfield County who have spent years living with the reality of daily gridlock and traffic congestion,” said Senator McKinney. “It addresses the overwhelming need for rail upgrades and increasing the number of commuter trains, allowing us to keep more cars off the roads. For those of us who were concerned with funding these projects in a fiscally responsible manner, the best part of this transportation package is that it will bring relief to our business and commuters without falling back on harmful and reductive measures such as tolls or tax increases.”

The plan includes several highway and rail improvement projects throughout the state, including all of upgrades and improvements recommend by the Transportation Strategy Board for Fairfield County. These include:

  • $60 million for parking and rail station upgrades on the Shore Line East and Metro North Rails
  • Increasing service on Shore Line East
  • $45 million for more trains on the Norwalk-Danbury line

“I doubt anyone entered this session expecting we could come to an agreement where all of the Transportation Strategy Board’s recommendations would be approved and funded, let alone doing so without resorting to tolls or tax increases. I think what tipped the scales was the growing recognition that the entire state will suffer if we don’t make it easier for businesses and employees to commute and transport goods. The forward-looking leadership of Governor Rell and the legislature allowed us to make an investment today that will pay off in the future, both in Fairfield County and throughout all of Connecticut,” said Senator McKinney.