FOR RELEASE: July 22, 2016
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CTDOT Prepares for $37 Million Budget Impact

      The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has prepared a plan to implement the FY 2017 budget that began July 1, which will include both expenditure reductions across the Department’s budget and increased rail and bus fares that will collectively balance the CTDOT budget while preserving service.  A series of hearings to discuss the proposed rail and bus fare increases will be held in September.

      The Department’s plan impacts both highway and public transportation elements of the budget.  Road and bridge program impacts total $19 million and public transportation program impacts total $18 million.       

      CTDOT is proposing a 5 percent fare increase on the New Haven commuter rail line, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branches, and Shore Line East effective December 1, which would generate about $5.9 million in new revenue.  On the New Haven Line, the increase on December 1 would be combined with a 1 percent previously scheduled fare increase that supports the  purchase of the new M-8 rail cars that the state put into service beginning in 2010.  Another $7.2 million would be saved through Shore Line East fuel savings, reducing New Haven Line overtime costs through reduced after-hours maintenance, and closing under-utilized ticket windows at the Greenwich, South Norwalk and Bridgeport stations. At the New Haven station, two ticket windows will be open on weekday mornings, as opposed to three currently.

      The standard one-way fare on the state-wide CTtransit services would go up 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75, and the express bus fares and other pre-paid fare types would rise a proportional percentage– generating an estimated $2.3 million. Approximately $1 million will be saved through subsidy reductions to local transit district operations and other reductions.

      Governor Malloy has written a letter about the reductions, which can be found here.

      CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said that the proposal is a responsible plan that ensures a balanced budget in this fiscal year and positions CTDOT for the new economic realities that will be faced in the upcoming biennial budget. 

      The highway and bridge reductions include decreasing maintenance work related to items such as tree cutting, joint and crack sealing, and drainage work.  Additional plan savings include delays in hiring personnel, anticipated fuel savings and anticipated reduced salt purchases based on larger than normal starting inventories resulting from last year’s mild winter.  Other savings include $100,000 in subsidy reductions to Municipal Planning Organizations.

      The CTDOT also plans reductions of staffed hours at seven highway rest areas and closing the Westbrook welcome center completely. The seven staffed rest areas will be closed overnight, but truck parking will be permitted. The budget proposal is also based on obtaining sponsorship funding to sustain the CHAMP highway emergency service program.