My story in today’s Mirror and on WNPR does not paint a pretty picture for transportation in Connecticut — or really anywhere, for that matter. Below is a graph of the sources for Connecticut’s transportation budget, a total of about $1.2 billion. That federal piece of the pie could be drastically reduced in the next couple of years — and there’s no guarantees about those state fuel taxes, either, given Connecticut’s $400 million+ budget hole.
To be sure, two promising transit projects in the state are underway — CT Fastrak (well, some people, not all, think the Hartford-to-New-Britain busway is promising), and the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield high-speed rail line. Construction has begun on both, in earnest.
But the state’s got some big projects that are badly-needed, and no money to pay for them at the moment. We’re talking major highway renovations, the modernization of Metro-North’s New Haven rail line, and basic road repair. And the federal and state $$ situation is not going to get better.
The answer may be, at least partly, in tolls, which the state is studying. Connecticut hasn’t seen those in more than thirty years, since seven people died in a crash at a Stratford toll barrier in 1983.
How would you respond to a toll? Take public transit? Bypass the highway for local roads? Rant…and deal with it?