Letter: Rail fare increase is really a tax

To the Editors:

I am a Wilton/Danbury-line Metro-North rider for over 26 years and I am at a point of extreme frustration and disgust with both the deterioration of the Metro-North Railroad Danbury line service levels and the recent "fare" increases for Connecticut riders. The recently imposed "fare" increases of an additional 5% increase over the system-wide fare increase of 1%, equates to a total increase of 6% for Connecticut riders.

Additionally, the State of Connecticut has eliminated the 2% discount from monthly Mail N Ride fares and has not publicly revealed this additional hidden increase. Both of these fare hikes adds up to net fare increase of 8.19% increase to the total monthly fare!

Even more deploring is that the additional revenue is not going to fund improvements for our rail service but is being allocated to offset mismanaged budget deficits in other categories of spending in Hartford. To translate, I am now defining this "fare" increase as a CT state tax on the Metro-North riders who are experiencing the worst service levels since 1990. To illustrate, I receive about six to eight service announcements about delayed trains every day via email from Metro-North.

Our voice deserves attention at Metro-North but mostly with our irresponsible state government in Hartford. In closing, I want to commend Gail Lavielle for her tireless effort to support the cause of the Metro-North commuter at every level of our state government.

Thank you for listening.
Dan Bonini
Highly Frustrated Metro North Rider
Wilton, Nov. 4