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Lamont Doubles Down On Highway Tolls

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is offering to reduce bus fares to a dollar a ride in an effort to convince lawmakers to vote for highway tolls. He made the announcement at Union Station in New Haven on Monday.

Lamont says he and his transportation commissioner have worked out that the state would be able to afford to do this once highway tolls are in place.

“We’ve priced that out, we know exactly what it would involve, you know, peak off-peak we are going to have some flexibility there. But it’s really important that people be able to get to work, get around the city at a lot less cost. And that’s what we are allowed to do once we have our transportation system up and operating.”

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp joined Lamont at the event. She says 40% of her city’s residents do not drive cars and would not be affected by tolls. Bus fares are now $1.75 a ride.

Lamont’s plan also calls for a small decrease in the state gasoline tax once tolls are up and operating.

The governor is trying to convince lawmakers to vote on his plan before the legislative session ends on June 5. Major opposition is from the minority Republicans, though some Democrats are also reluctant to vote for tolls.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.