Every night around dinnertime, a Peter Pan bus pulls up outside the state house in Hartford and nearly 30 people get off that bus on any given night.
They all work at the casinos and depend on the bus to get there. Their future is uncertain now that the state will stop bus service on Sept. 30.
“We rely on that bus to get to work every day. Without it I will have no job. If I don’t work, then my daughter and I don’t eat. It’s that simple,” Selena Mathis, a Foxwoods employee, said.
The bus is funded in part by the Department of Social Services and the cut is expected to save the state about $270,000.
Even though the state helps fund the bus service, casino employees pay $60 a month for their bus tickets and more than $200,000 a year toward the cost of the bus. Many said they'd pay more if they need too.
“Give us a smaller bus, give us a van. We don’t care. We just want to get to work,” said Mathis.
Riders said what’s even more frustrating is that the bus was part of an ongoing effort to provide jobs to residents of Hartford and its surrounding communities.
“We don’t want to home and collect unemployment or have to go on welfare. We’re all independent single parents with jobs for now. We need to support our families,” said Mathis.
Our calls to the governor’s office were not returned.