PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release: February 19, 2009
Contact: Ryan Lynch, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
P: (860) 796-6988

TSTC Statement in Response to the Transportation Strategy Board Congestion Pricing Study

Today the Transportation Strategy Board released a draft final report detailing various options for congestion pricing in the state. There are no recommendations in the report, but a few concepts stand out as the most plausible. Those include transforming existing HOV lanes along I-91 and I-84 into High Occupancy Toll Lanes, or HOV lanes that allow solo drivers to enter if they pay a fee, and pricing congested corridors such as I-95 and Route 15.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign hopes Connecticut elected officials and residents give congestion pricing a chance. Revenue could pay for vital maintenance and repair of existing road and bridge infrastructure, allow speedier travel times and could free up revenue to expand our transit system.

Congestion in Connecticut causes residents and business to lose over $500 million a year in excess fuel consumption, loss of productivity and delays. This does not even take into consideration the costs of pollution from idling cars to our health and environment.

Meanwhile, over 75% of Connecticut’s roadway lane miles are in less than good condition and 33% of Connecticut’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, which rank 10th worst and 5th worst in the country, respectively.

Next year, Connecticut’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) will start to run a deficit.

If ConnDOT is serious about providing a 21st century, multi-modal transportation system to its customers, new and innovative funding mechanisms like tolling and congestion pricing will be necessary.

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Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working towards a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.