Kupchick and Devlin demand ‘Legislative Say’ on Metro-North fares

State Reps. Laura Devlin (R-134) and Brenda Kupchick (R-132).

State Reps. Laura Devlin (R-134) and Brenda Kupchick (R-132).

State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134) co-sponsored and submitted testimony to require legislative approval to increase rail fares.

The legislation, House Bill 5773: An Act Requiring Legislative Approval to Increase Rail or Bus Fare or Reduce Any Transit Subsidy Program, requires legislative approval in order to increase rail or bus fare or reduce any transit subsidy program.

This legislation comes after Reps. Kupchick and Devlin joined other Fairfield County legislators in running a petition in opposition to the Department of Transportation (DOT) imposed fare increases on Metro-North, CT Transit and Shore Line East. The sizeable outcry against the inflation in price spoke volumes on how this would affect residents. The fare increase brought commuters absolutely no benefits and residents felt unheard by DOT. Unfortunately, the petition was not able to stop Governor Malloy’s executive order to increase fares on commuters

“Making legislators accountable for their votes and protecting commuters by creating a more deliberate, fair and public process for imposing future fare increases,” said Rep. Kupchick. “It is my hope this proposal is seriously considered and voted out of committee, and given a chance to become law.

“Our rail commuters deserve a safe, reliable an affordable transportation system. The General Assembly should have final say over any Metro North fare hike. We need to make sure these outrageous fare hikes pushed through by the Department of Transportation are used to fix existing rail lines and not fill the deficit in the operating budget left by the cut from the budget,” said Rep. Devlin, who is a member of the legislature’s powerful Transportation committee.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) imposed a 5% fare hike for commuters using Metro-North and Shoreline East trains. The fare increase was a direct result of the $37 million in cuts imposed on the DOT by the administration as part of the FY 2017 revised state budget passed by majority legislators last May.

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