Commuter council: MTA cuts won't affect CT residents

The Connecticut Rail Commuter Council says residents from the state who use MTA trains shouldn't be affected by proposed service cuts."We have every assurance at

STAMFORD - The Connecticut Rail Commuter Council says residents from the state who use MTA trains shouldn't be affected by proposed service cuts.

"We have every assurance at the commuter council that the fares and the service will continue as they are now," says the commuter council's chairman, Jim Cameron.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority is facing a potential $900 million budget shortfall. The commuter council says southwestern Connecticut riders will not likely be subjected to cuts because the state oversees any fare increases or changes in service.

"Ridership is up and we want to do what we can to attract ridership to our service," says Joseph Marie, chairman of the state Department of Transportation. "So we want to offer quality service and schedules which are at where they are today or even higher."

The rails in southwestern Connecticut carry more than 38,000 riders daily. There will be a 1-percent fare increase starting in 2010, but that was decided before the current budget gap surfaced.

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