FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Riders on the New Haven rail line in Connecticut face a 15 percent increase in fares under deep budget cuts proposed Friday by Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Fares on the New Haven Line have not been raised since 2005, the governor's proposal says.
Readers responded quickly — and unfavorably — to the prospect of paying more to ride the Metro-North trains.
"I think it's terrible. Commuters already pay WAY too much for train service into the city," Stacey Schub Gola wrote on the Daily Norwalk's Facebook page.
Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in a joint statement that they had hoped to avoid such cuts by reaching a deal with state employees' union, or SEBAC, to balance the state's budget.
"At this point, with no clear path to reach a ratified agreement with SEBAC, it’s our job to find a way to fill the $1.6 billion hole in the budget and ensure our budget is balanced honestly," Malloy and Wyman said. "Tomorrow we’ll send our full plan to the legislature, including these layoff numbers and additional service and programmatic cuts totaling $1.6 billion. And then we’ll work as hard as we can to mitigate the impact these layoffs and cuts will have on the people of Connecticut.”
Readers are not excited about spending more. "No thank you lol," Dr. Carol Felder wrote on the Daily Wilton's Facebook page.
"I think we already pay too much!!! Highest in the nation ... and still the same ride, the same old trains ... nothing has changed in all these years except the ticket price continues to go up," Kathy Marsh wrote on the Daily Stamford's Facebook page. "MTA needs to restructure and do a better job at keeping their costs under control - while producing a good product that deserves an increase in rate."
"Sounds great. Penalize the people who actually use public transportation. Makes perfect sense," Tom Wilson wrote on the Daily Darien's Facebook page.
And Drew Todd wrote on the Daily Norwalk's Facebook page: "Once again the commuters are the ones that are made to suffer in this state! Why not bring back the gas tax of 1 cent? How about a toll. We are riding in 40-year-old rent-a-wrecks that break down, no A/C or heat, short cars. The M-8 are way, way behind schedule ... The Commuter Council will fight this or I know I will."
You can read Malloy's spending proposal here. In other proposed cuts, the Stamford Center for the Arts could lose some major grant funding.
What do you think of having to spend more money to ride the train? Check this website later today for more in-depth coverage of the governor's plan.