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Let’s Act for — not against — Prosperity

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At some point, once informed by the outcomes of studies, action is needed. Yet, over the past two decades, there has been a steady stream of studies on the importance of the State of Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure — all concluding that additional investment is essential to foster economic prosperity.


1999: Adopt a multi-modal transportation approach to unlock congestion and “sustain the long-term growth and vitality of economic activities.”

In 1999, the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century completed the study “Connecticut Strategic Economic Framework” which concluded that investing in a hearty multi-modal transportation system would create a competitive economic advantage to the state and warned that we need to resolve “the congested, locked transportation systems that effect not only the region [southwestern Connecticut], but also the remainder of the State.” This report warned that, absent a new approach to meeting transportation infrastructure needs, Connecticut was in danger of becoming an economic “cul-de-sac”.


Had we acted then, we would be in less of a predicament today.


Fast forward to 2011 and the State’s Transportation Strategy Board which, in January of that year, issued its “Strategic Framework for Investing in CT’s Transportation Infrastructure.” This framework, again, recognized the importance of the transportation system and advised investment.


2011: “While our fiscal and economic challenges may seem overwhelming, a program of increased but strategic investments [in transportation] can yield a large benefit to Connecticut’s economy. More importantly, the risks of not acting are even greater.”


A more robust capital planning process and phased increases in revenue sources were endorsed, “the state needs a consistent and stable source of funding that is available on an annual basis,” for transportation. This report also recommended an increase in the gasoline tax and the implementation of electronic tolling to fund transportation projects.


Had we acted then, we would be in less of a predicament today.


Then again, in 2016, the Governor’s Finance Panel — a group with expertise in economic development, transportation and finance — recommended new revenue sources to support transportation systems in the state including an increase in the gas tax noting, “[it’s the] largest and most important revenue component in the Special Transportation Fund.” And, “Times have changed, tolls are collected in an entirely different, far less obtrusive way than in the past and Connecticut stands out from the rest of the northeast as an outlier because of its lack of tolls on major interstate highways.”


2016: “If Connecticut wants to be economically competitive in the near future, the cost of doing nothing [to fund transportation] is far too severe.”


If we had acted then, we would be in less of a predicament today.


Once again, on March 1, 2018, the State’s Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Development, advised the state:


2018: “In order to maintain Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure and to enhance economic growth, substantial additional capital expenditures are required as well as dedicated revenue streams.”


This group — comprised of prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs in the state — recommends new revenue streams to the Special Transportation Fund (STF), including an increase in the gasoline tax and implementation of electronic tolls.

1999-2018: Four studies, four similar recommendations, four warnings. Still, no action.


Four studies, four reports, four similar warnings about the consequences of doing nothing, and four sets of similar recommendations. It is time to set a course and act — during this legislative session — to restore the STF to appropriate levels to meet our immediate needs and to commit to a hearty, diverse and sustainable stream of funding to meet our transportation, economic and quality of life needs.


It is time to put our studies to work. It is time to act.


What Does This Mean for Bus Riders?


After several years of reduced funding, GBT has already taken many steps to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of the bus service — from reductions in staff, drivers and contracted services to route eliminations, and frequency and service span reductions. What this means is that GBT will have to make major cuts to bus service starting July 1, 2018, if the State Legislature does not act now to restore funding.


Public Meetings & Public Hearing

GBT is planning service reductions for this Summer. Join us to hear more about it and to let us know what you think.


Public Meeting
TUESDAY April 10, 2018 | 2 PM
2nd Floor Community Room
710 Water Street, Bridgeport
Public Meeting
THURSDAY April 12, 2018 | 11 AM
2nd Floor Community Room
710 Water Street, Bridgeport
Public Hearing
THURSDAY April 12, 2018 | 6 PM
1st Floor Conference Rooms A & B
999 Broad Street, Bridgeport



Tell Your Legislator: Stop the Transit Cuts

Cuts to transit districts in Connecticut are slated to begin on July 1, 2018, if the state legislature does not act now to restore funding. This means that there will be a 15% cut on July 1, 2018 and a 50% cut on July 1, 2019 to bus service in the Greater Bridgeport Region. Other areas in the state will also be affected.



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