To the Editor:
Having lived in lower Fairfield County for the majority of my 56 years, I can remember when my family used to drive to New Haven for theater and dinners on a weekday evening. I remember when the state’s highways and transportation system worked. Today, I am reluctant to drive the eight miles from Darien to Westport for a weeknight dinner for fear of losing my mind sitting in traffic. And I shudder to consider having to commute to work in Fairfield County every day. Our state must improve its transportation systems, and, thankfully, help is on the way.
Connecticut’s public transportation system, despite being relied on by so many to move both within the state and out of it, remains notoriously awful. Metro-North trains run slowly, rarely, and have essentially no services for passengers compared to the omnipresent public transport across the rest of the developed world. We’ve lagged behind for too long.
Thankfully, in cooperation with state officials and elected legislators, Congressman Jim Himes has secured $5.38 billion for Connecticut transportation over the next 5 years, a $1.63 billion increase over the 2015 transportation bill. $3b for expanding roads and road-sharing initiatives, $1b for public transit, $561m for bridges, $90m for weather resistance, $52.2m for electric vehicle charging stations, and $445 over five years for clean water infrastructure.
In addition to all this, Connecticut is eligible for more than $200 billion in nationally competitive grants, and $30 billion regionally competitive ones. The national grants cover everything from planes, trains, and automobiles to clean water and old pollution, as well as the electric grid and improved cybersecurity against interference with or attacks against our digital infrastructure.
Thanks to Congressman Himes, our state can flourish, with its infrastructure of all kinds modernized and expanded. Driving, biking, and walking will be more convenient. Buses and trains will be more common and modern. Our crumbling bridges will be restored, storms won’t wreak as much havoc, and owning an electric vehicle won’t be so difficult. And that’s just the guaranteed funding. With this increased investment, I plan to drive stress-free to Westport to celebrate my 60th birthday.
With fall just around the corner, I can’t help but think of how much Democrats in Washington accomplished over the past few months. The Democratic Majority in the House has invested billions into American energy, expanded healthcare for veterans, and finally passed common sense gun legislation. With the CHIPS Act, Democrats are putting America back in the driver’s seat of global technology and innovation. They have also passed laws that establish crisis training tools for first responders, innovate our domestic supply chain and reduced the federal deficit by $2 trillion to levels below that of 2019.
These new infrastructure funding initiatives coupled with the tremendous progress made by Democrats in Congress are why I believe we must keep the momentum going for Fairfield County, Connecticut and our nation. Please join me in voting to re-elect Jim Himes to Congress on November 8th to keep this record going and help our state even more.