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Metro-North fare hike in Connecticut postponed until next year, commuter council says


Fares for MTA Metro-North Railroad’s services in Connecticut will increase, but likely not until next year.

A long-proposed 10 percent fare hike can’t be implemented on Oct. 1 as state lawmakers had discussed earlier and a legislatively mandated 2010 fare increase of 1.25 percent that was set to take effect Jan. 1 is being postponed, according to the CT Rail Commuter Council.

“It’s still up to the legislature to decide if there will be a fare hike to help balance the budget,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie told council members at meeting held Sept. 16.

Logistically, it might take until March 2010 for any fare hike to go into effect because public hearings are required, among other necessary legal steps, he said.

The fare hike delay would maintain the spirit of Gov. Jodi Rell’s promise that no fare hike should go into effect until passengers could start riding new M8 rail cars, said Marie. The first car prototypes are undergoing static testing at Kawasaki’s plant in Japan. In November, a set of cars is expected to arrive in Connecticut for four to six months of testing; the cars are expected to enter service in May 2010.

It was “extremely optimistic to think Kawasaki could uphold its aggressive delivery schedule of 10 cars per month through 2012,” said Marie.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2009