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Friday, March 23 News

Letter: Fawcett's foes voted against rail upgrades

Investing in Metro-North Railroad infrastructure is critical to growing our local economy, creating Fairfield County jobs, and attracting and retaining the next generation of commuters. Fairfield is fortunate to have three train stations, while Westport has two, that thousands of area residents rely on to get to and from their jobs.

This past year, Metro-North has had many well-documented issues with its aging infrastructure resulting from years of delaying maintenance and critically needed upgrades. As a daily commuter, I have firsthand experience with the frustration, delays, costs and safety hazards caused by these problems.

Recently, I learned the state of Connecticut provides one primary funding source for Metro-North infrastructure investment, authorized each year at the state Capitol. This year's annual bond authorization bill included $14 million in emergency funding specifically for safety upgrades to Metro-North. The bill was so critical that only eight of 54 House Republicans voted "No." I still can't get over the fact that two of the eight are current state representatives from Fairfield, a town with three train stations.

In November, Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton and Newtown will elect a new state senator in the 28th District. One candidate is a state representative who co-chaired both the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee and the Transportation Subcommittee for Appropriations and was joined by 46 House Republicans in voting "Yes" for the $14 million investment in safety upgrades for Metro-North. The other candidate is one of the reps who voted "No" to this year's capital investment for Metro-North Railroad.

Join me in voting for Kim Fawcett for State Senate. She is a transportation leader who supports funding Metro-North safety upgrades, fixing aging overhead wires, replacing old leaking cars, and moving forward with the Norwalk bridge-replacement project.

Eric Newman

Fairfield RTM, District 7