Public talks public transportion
Published 4:36 pm, Monday, September 30, 2013
Do you think there aren't enough buses in the area?
Do you want more bike lanes on public roads?
More trains leaving local stations?
The public was to get its chance to express its opinions last week when the state Public Transportation Commission hosted a hearing at New Milford Town Hall.
It was to be the only hearing the commission would hold this year for western and northwestern Connecticut.
"It's an open forum," said Richard Schreiner, the commission's vice chairman. "People could bring up any issue on public transportation."
Schreiner, service development director for Housatonic Area Regional Transit -- HART -- said the hearing was not to simply be a place to sound off.
The commission uses the information gleaned from a series of four hearings to help write its annual report on public transportation to be delivered to the state Department of Transportation and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Frederick Riese, an environmental analyst with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a member of the committee, said the commission will use the comments at all four hearings to look for general trends in what people say.
"We look for patterns and reoccurring problems," Riese said.
The annual report will also look at specific local issues.
"The Housatonic Railroad will give a report on the Danbury-to-Pittsfield passenger service," Riese said of the proposal -- long considered, but as yet unrealized -- to extend passenger service again north of Danbury.
Riese said the forums in the past have been places where people connect.
"We've had people stand up and say, `We need this,' " Riese said. "The next person to stand up will say, `We offer that.' "