Transportation Improvement Needed--But At What Cost?

Someone needs to help me understand the mindset of people in the transportation industry.Two stories, in two states with the same type of confusion.

In Massachusetts, the MBTA has proposed raising fares by about six percent. In bottom line terms it would increase the round trip from Worcester to Boston to about 25 dollars.

And, that’s fine. If you get close to a person in the transportation industry and they sense you thinking about increased rider or driver burden they will tell you about infrastructure and the need to refurbish.

There is no one who doubts that. There is no one who doubts that with the fare increase all the money is going to Boston and none of the revamping and rehabbing will happen anywhere else.

It was such a nonstarter that at first MBTA officials were not going to hold a hearing in Worcester, the second largest city in the state. After the legislative delegation raised all kinds of hell they finally agreed to and will hold that hearing tonight at Union Station at 6:30.

You could almost excuse that. Almost.

But a story this morning out of Connecticut goes off the chart.

The Connecticut Legislature, in a move to expand and improve the roads needs more money.It seems throughout the years the gas tax that was being rammed down everyone’s throats wasn’t enough. Lawmakers want more and more. So they came up with the idea of tolls.

And to do so they proposed tolling about the entire state something that is making the average driver see red---and a lot of green going out of their pockets.

But in true Connecticut ways, lawmakers will hold a public hearing on two bills.One for tolls and one that in its most basic form allows the tolling to happen 15 days after the public hearing without a legislative up or down vote.The language in House Bill 7280 sent shock waves through lawmakers.

Republicans are fit to be tied. A lot of democrats are too.

How is it that we have let our infrastructure deteriorate to this point?

Remember in Massachusetts the angst over the gas tax being increased?

How is it that our elected officials can’t find a way to improve lives without first giving everyone indigestion? And, why won’t they willingly engage the public in their way of thinking?

Is there nothing else we can do expect keep writing a check?

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