As Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont touted his $21 billion, 10-year transportation bill, the underlying message was clear: Connecticut needs to shore up its infrastructure.
"The no-tolls opposition is not very sophisticated, but it's very effective, and there's not an effective counter-coalition," said Melissa Kaplan-Macey, vice president for state programs and Connecticut director for New York think tank Regional Plan Association.
The Regional Plan Association worries about a heavy emphasis on highways — $14 billion for road improvements and $7 billion for transit — with much of the transit funding rail-oriented. Connecticut owns the rights of way to the Metro-North Railroad line, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates and which connects Fairfield and New Haven counties with New York City.
"There's only $180 million over 10 years for bus transit and the number of rail and bus riders is pretty equal," Kaplan-Macey said. Another concern is the highway expansion and the lack of "demand management" measures such as the expansion of high-occupancy-vehicle, or HOV lanes, she added.
Read more in The Bond Buyer.