STAMFORD, Conn. - A CTTransit plan to raise bus fares by 15 percent next year was met with skepticism by Stamford residents Wednesday at a public hearing on the proposal.
The increases, which would affect virtually all CTTransit services along its multiple town routes throughout Fairfield County, would go into effect on Jan. 5, if approved.
“This increase is proposed in an effort to keep up with operational costs,” said Transit Manager Ricardo Almeida. Fuel, labor, parts and insurance costs have all risen in recent years, he said.
The system’s diesel fuel costs alone have gone from $1.25 per gallon to $3.25 per gallon since 2005, he said.
Despite his explanation, residents who spoke at the hearing held at the University of Connecticut's Stamford Campus, were generally in opposition to the increase.
“The buses work when they want to work,” said Adam Kinn, a rider with disabilities who said he has experienced many problems traveling from Stamford to Norwalk by bus. “Instead of just keeping up with operational costs, please provide better service.”
Stamford resident Dan Mecca agreed. Before he would support an increase, Mecca said CTTransit should expand bus service along Long Ridge Road.
“It takes 40 minutes to walk from parts of Long Ridge Road to the nearest stop on High Ridge Road, and I live south of the Merritt,” said Mecca.
The proposed increase would add $0.20 to a one-way local cash fare, from $1.30 to $1.50, and add $1.80 to a 10-ride local pass, from $11.70 to $13.50.
Town-to-town fares start at $2.35 per ride and would jump to $2.70, or an increase of $0.35.
Greenwich resident Rosemary Ralph, who said she is a home health aide with clients in various towns in Fairfield County, said she is not opposed to the increase under one condition.
“I don’t mind if you raise the fare, but I need the service to be on time,” she said.
CTTransit buses operate in many parts of the state. In lower Fairfield County, its buses run in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and Norwalk as well as in Port Chester, N.Y.