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February 1, 2018 | Press Release

Bethel, CT: 2nd District State Assembly candidate Raghib Allie-Brennan, today sent a formal request to Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker asking that he schedule an additional public hearing in Danbury on proposed fare increases and service reductions to the Danbury Line.

On Tuesday, January 30, CTDOT announced a series of seven public hearings to gather input on proposed bus and rail fare increases and service reductions on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branch lines on the New Haven Line, and on Shore Line East. The list of scheduled hearings, however, did not include Danbury. The closest hearing locations are Stamford and Waterbury.

“The Department of Transportation’s policy is that any service and fare changes can only be made after input from the public,” said Allie-Brennan. “How can there be fair public input regarding the Danbury Line without a public hearing in the Danbury area? These proposed changes will burden our residents and hurt our efforts to expand and attract business locally and for the state.

“We should not punish commuters for the legislature’s mismanagement of the state’s transportation funds,” Allie-Brennan added. “We should be investing in our public transportation infrastructure, not cutting services for the people who rely on it to get around, many of whom are seniors, individuals with disabilities and others who depend upon CTDOT services to travel to and from work. They deserve to be heard.”

Allie-Brennan cites the inordinate distance Danbury residents must travel to attend the scheduled hearings, as well as the burden placed on disabled users of the services who may wish to offer public comment about the service cuts under consideration.

The full text of the letter is below:

February 1, 2018

Dear Commissioner Redeker:

The purpose of this letter is to formally request, on behalf of the residents of Bethel, Danbury, Redding, and the surrounding area, that the Department of Transportation (DOT) hold an additional public hearing in Danbury to discuss proposed public transit fare increases for bus, rail and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services, as well as proposed service reductions to the Danbury Line, New Haven Line, New Canaan Line, Waterbury Line and Shore Line East rail services.

People in Danbury, Bethel, Redding, and the surrounding area rely heavily on the Danbury Line to get to work and to conduct business. If these proposed changes are implemented, they could harm residents and commuters along the Danbury Line and result in tangible damage to our local economy.

An additional public hearing should be held by DOT for the citizens of Upper Fairfield County and the Danbury area. This will allow those who will be affected and wish to have their voices heard to offer input without having to drive more than an hour. In addition, since the proposed changes will affect segments of our disabled population, accessibility and convenience of location are critical. I am sure you will agree that the public outreach and comment element of these proposed changes will be incomplete without adequate and equitable outreach to all affected communities.

In the interests of ensuring that equal access, please consider my request for an additional public hearing in Danbury.

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