[Excerpt] NORWALK -- Host to tens of millions of commuters each year, Interstate 95 has "about double" the amount of traffic it was designed for, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Sunday during a town hall discussion about the snarled enigma that is Connecticut's public transportation system.
As alternatives to driving, trains are expensive and crowded; bus routes and schedules are inadequate, audience members complained; commuters who do use Metro-North said they are forced daily to vie for limited parking at the train station. Low-income people who cannot afford to drive aren't able to get to work on the present public transit system, noted the director of a data-analysis firm. The $300m in additional federal funds allotted to Connecticut over the next five years is "still not nearly enough," Murphy said, at a time when Governor Malloy is proposing a traffic overhaul to the tune of $100 billion.
As the name of Murphy's statewide listening campaign suggests, Fairfield County residents are "Fed Up" with the condition of Connecticut's transportation system.
The 80 seats in Norwalk Public Library's auditorium were mostly full as people from Norwalk and environs come to vent their frustration and hear responses from Murphy as well as Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, State Senator Bob Duff and Mark Abraham, director of DataHaven, a New Haven organization that uses public data to examine correlations between transportation and quality of life....
During a presentation that included disturbing figures about how many total days are spent commuting over a lifetime, Abraham emphasized the impact of inefficient public transit on people who can't afford to own a car.
"There are a lot of jobs that people have to turn down because the bus systems just don't go out there anymore," Abraham. Even in places like New Haven that have relatively good bus systems, the busses don't run late enough to accommodate the increasing number of people working evening shifts, he added.