February 5, 2014

Stratford – Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) spent his morning distributing flyers and speaking to commuters on the Metro-North platform in Stratford. Senator Kelly stepped onto the platform at 5:45 am today to meet with commuters who ride Metro-North to get to work and school every day. He shared information about transportation funding in Connecticut and encouraged each person to voice their concerns about Metro-North to their legislators and governor.

“Metro-North’s safety and service failures have gone on for too long,” said Senator Kelly. “Over the past few years, transportation in Connecticut has not received adequate funding, and Metro-North is suffering as a result. It is time for commuters to learn about our state’s bad spending habits, and raise their voices in support of necessary funding and infrastructure improvements.”

As Senator Kelly greeted commuters, he encouraged them to contact their state lawmakers and the governor’s office to make Metro-North a top priority in Hartford. He handed out flyers that included information about state spending and the removal of money from the special transportation fund, and urged commuters to educate themselves about state expenditures.

“Connecticut spent over $572 million on a busway from New Britain to Hartford, costing $63 million each mile. Our governor also removed over $187 million from the special transportation fund, putting these dedicated tax payer dollars into the general fund instead. This behavior is irresponsible. It is time to stop wasting funds on expensive unnecessary projects. It is time to stop cutting funding for necessities like daily transportation.”

Senator Kelly also spoke to commuters about how delays and other Metro-North problems affect them personally.

“Metro-North disruptions and failures threaten the safety of passengers as well as their quality of life. The longer the daily commute is, the less time families have together. The more expensive fares become, the more strain a family feels. ”

On Monday, Senator Kelly joined the Transportation Committee leaders in sending a letter to announce they are pushing for oversight and accountability on Metro North Rail Line. The letter asks Thomas F. Prendergast (MTA Chairman and CEO) and Joseph Giulietti (Metro-North Railroad President) to come before the Transportation Committee, proposes measurable goals for Metro-North to improve its credibility, and asks for federal and state assistance in both aiding Metro-North in meeting these goals and securing necessary funding to support critical infrastructure improvements.

“Over the past week we saw a renewed focus on transportation issues in the Capitol,” said Senator Kelly. “Clearly we need action at all levels of government. Metro-North can be better, and we must make improvements happen immediately.”