Ticket To Ride May Rise

People who rely on the train or the bus to get around Connecticut may have reach a little deeper into their pockets. Under a proposal from Governor Rell, Metro North riders would see a 10 percent increase in fares. Those who take the bus would see a hike of anywhere from 20 to 40 percent.

"We figured out that if someone takes the rail during the rush hour, it would cost that individual more than $900 more this year," said House Speaker Chris Donovan, D-Meriden.

Lawmakers say the extra money would be coming out of the pockets of working class families, some of whom have no other form of transportation. In New Haven, that number is close to 15,000 households. Others, who do have cars, may be forced back on the already congested roads.

"For those who do need cars and think we should disinvest in transit by increasing the fares, I suggest they go just five blocks down to I-95 right now and any time between now and 7:00 and they'll see why Connecticut needs balanced transit growth," said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.

Environmentalists worry extra cars on the roads would lead to more pollution.

"We're going to have to pay for it later. We're going to have to pay for it in the extra expenses for commuters driving to work each day, and we also have to pay for it in other areas where we'll have to work double hard to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases," said Christopher Phelps, Director of Environment Connecticut.

Governor Rell proposed the fare increase in an effort to generate an additional $45 million that would help cut down the state's $8 billion deficit.

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