Rell to MTA: Hands Off Our Trains - NBC Connecticut

Rell to MTA: Hands Off Our Trains

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    Rell to MTA: Hands Off Our Trains
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    Less trains could be coming to Conn. as part of a cost-cutting plan by the MTA.

    Transportation budget cuts could put an end to your late nights in Manhattan and cut the number of trains on the New Haven line and the governor is not happy about it. 

    On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to vote on budget cuts.
     
    What’s in jeopardy include a late-night train from New York City to Stamford and other Fairfield County municipalities, as well as some of the train cars on Metro-North's New Haven Line, according to the Greenwich Time.
     
    The MTA is trying to cut $383 million from the budget, a budget gap the New York Times reports popped up almost overnight, when the MTA learned about sharp drops in revenue and state financing from New York. 
     
    The current cost-saving plan includes $6.1 million in cuts on Metro-North's New Haven, Hudson, and Harlem lines in 2010 and 2011, an MTA spokesman told the Time.
     
    The plan has already passed the MTA Finance Board. Tonight, the full board votes.
     
    Stamford City Council member Jeffrey Maron told the Time this could continue to severely impact the problem.
     
    "We have new trains and have paid a significant amount to upgrade our old cars, so it seems kind of silly to cut cars. We're just chasing away revenue by chasing away riders," Maron said.
     
    Gov. M. Jodi Rell is not happy about New York cutting some transportation here.
     
    “It is my understanding that, under our service agreement with the MTA, any service reductions must be approved by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (Department) in advance of implementation,” she wrote in a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Metro-North Railroad.
     
    The MTA’s actions would require Metro-North to reduce service, without the approval of the state Department of Transportation, Rell said. 
     
    “Simply stated, our approval in advance is required, and we have not given it,” she said. “At a time when we are making every effort to get people out of their cars and onto public transportation, service reductions should be a last, not the first, resort.”
        
    Connecticut's Department of Transportation owns Metro-North's New Haven Line and covers 65 percent of the operational costs of running it, with the MTA paying the other 35 percent.