Senator Kevin Kelly Testifies in Support of Expanding Mass Transit in Connecticut

February 18, 2011

Hartford – Today, State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) testified before the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee. Senator Kelly spoke in support of Senate Bill 801, An Act Concerning a Study to Increase Mass Transit and Rail Usage in Fairfield County and Senate Bill 803, An Act Concerning Train Service on the Waterbury Line.

“I testified before the Transportation Committee in support of legislation aimed at improving and expanding our state’s rail service and transit system,” said Senator Kelly.

Senate Bill 801 would require the Department of Transportation to study means of increasing mass transit and rail usage in Fairfield County – including the use of double-decker rail cars, employer incentives to increase employee use and improved shuttle service from rail and bus stations to employer locations.

Senator Kelly stated, “This bill takes a look at what government can do to encourage people to use mass transit. It comes from the realization that Connecticut not only needs to provide services between rail lines and employers, but that the state also need to incentivize these services to make mass transit a desired service.”

Senate Bill 803 would amend the general statutes to increase both the number and frequency of trains running on the Waterbury line, and would also add stops in Seymour, and Shelton/ Derby.

“So many commuters rely on rail service as a means to a less congested and more cost-effective way to work,” said Senator Kelly. “By expanding passenger service on the Waterbury rail line, folks will have access to frequent and convenient train services, thereby reducing traffic on Route 8 and the I-95 corridors.”

To close his remarks, Senator Kelly noted that, “When considering these two bills, it is important to keep in mind that Connecticut does not have a revenue problem, but rather a spending problem. Passing this type of legislation would force our legislature to take a hard look at its budget and simply reorganize its spending priorities in order to provide a vital service to workers and families.”