Lamont: Climate initiative, truck taxes linked to expanded train service

Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday tied plans for major rail improvements in the Naugatuck Valley with his proposals to reduce carbon emissions and create a mileage tax on trucks. He asked lawmakers and local officials to help him push for his regional Transportation Climate Initiaitive as well as the proposed mileage tax for heavy trucks. Both measures would provide funding for state transit projects and the regional TCI, as it’s called, would aim to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions linked to asthma and other respiratory ailments that adversely affect city dwellers. The TCI, raising prices for petroleum products wholesalers and hiking gasoline prices, is estimated to bring the state about $1 billion for transportation projects by 2032 as part of a multi-state initiative. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said that while the pandemic caused a more than 80-percent drop in ridership along Metro-North’s New Haven line, Waterbury line riders have remained at about 1,000 people a day, about 40 percent of capacity.

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