Sen. Hwang: Fewer CT trains, higher prices raise many questions

September 19, 2023

For Immediate Release

State Senator Tony Hwang issued the following statement regarding proposed fare hikes and service cuts for CT public transportation:

“Speak now or forever reach deeper into your pocket.  These proposed fare hikes and service cuts are a call to action for commuters.

And they raise a host of new questions.

There are just two in-person public hearings scheduled, and they are being held in New Haven and Hartford.  Why not have these hearings where the commuters are… in Danbury, Stamford, and Bridgeport?  It’s as if the DOT doesn’t want people to show up.

And why the cuts in Monday through Thursday trains?  Ridership is strongest Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so why those cuts?

Friday service has been cut as well, but in each case, we don’t know which trains serving which stations and when?  How can the public offer comments without knowing if “their train” is affected?

The biggest cuts are on Shore Line East, from 23 trains a day to just 16.  This is how you kill a railroad.  Cut service and discourage ridership, and then ridership drops. That scenario then provides more excuses for further cuts.

The proposed fare hikes on Metro-North and Shoreline East are not welcome, but not unexpected, since there’s been no fare increases since 2018.  But the state is now asking commuters to pay more for less service?

And bus service cuts on 13 routes?  Did anybody know this was coming?

On behalf of the 100,000 residents I represent in Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, and Bethel, and as Ranking Senator on the Transportation Committee, I am speaking out against these proposed fare hikes and service cuts.  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 a captive audience.  No one is for these hikes or these service cuts.  Our Senate Republican caucus put forth an alternative budget that fully funded rail services, but the majority did not have the appetite for it.

Consumers must be respected in this process. We must collectively raise our voices to prevent these fare hikes and service cuts from becoming reality. I have spoken out in the past, and we will be doing so frequently and in large numbers until we are heard.”

To speak out, send an email to [email protected] and to [email protected] .