Instead of a Transportation Wish List, Connecticut Needs Priorities
Connecticut can do better, especially when it comes to our roads and rails. We’re on the wrong track.
The state is in the process of spending $1 billion on a rail line to Springfield, which will eventually serve an estimated 2,200 passengers a day. Meanwhile the 125,000 daily Metro North commuters face delays and other frustrations related to outdated infrastructure and needed repairs.
“We need to prioritize,” said Suzanne Bates, policy director for the Yankee Institute. “The problem is we’ve been chasing projects like the Springfield rail line instead of fixing what we have that’s broken. We should meet those needs first before we spend millions – or billions – more on the wrong projects.”
If transportation is a priority, we need to put our money where our mouth is and reallocate funding from less important areas.
We also need to get better value. Connecticut’s per-mile administrative costs for its roads are seven times higher than the national average.
Through a combination of clear priorities, reallocation and reductions in other taxes, we can find a fair way to fund Connecticut’s necessary transportation investments.
Connecticut already has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation. That money, and the other taxes and fees allocated to the Special Transportation Fund, should be spent only on transportation projects.
We must end the conversation about border tolls. Instead, we should explore congestion pricing in key areas as a way to clear up traffic and reduce the gas tax.
Wrong Track: Reprioritizing Our Transportation Needs