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Malloy Hits The Road To Pitch Transportation Plan In Stamford

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, right, speaks during a round table discussion on transportation at the Stamford Government Center. Looking on, at left, is Stamford Mayor David Martin. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, right, speaks to a participant after a round table discussion on transportation at the Stamford Government Center. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy continued to push his multibillion-dollar transportation proposals at a business roundtable in Stamford on Tuesday. But businessman Bud Grebey wondered why the bus service isn't reliable enough to take to his North Stamford home.

"The problem is you get off the train and you don't know if there is going to be a bus there to get you home, let alone any kind of discount pricing, which would be a big help," Grebey said after the roundtable. "Forget discount pricing, If I knew I had a reliable bus service, I would take the bus."

Grebey was among a group of about 20 business people who attended the meeting with Malloy at the Government Center.

As Malloy takes a serious look at improvements, Grebey strongly backs the recently announced 30-year plan to improve transportation in the state. He said it avoids a piecemeal approach to correcting transportation woes.

"It's the first time we are looking at it in total, the interconnectivity, as opposed to fix this, fix this, fix this. It is fix it all and figure out how to make it work," Grebey said.

That is the position that Malloy said he's taking because transportation hasn't been looked at and dealt with comprehensively by previous governors, including the last Democratic governor before Malloy, the late William O'Neill, who served from 1980 to 1991.

"I love Bill O'Neil (but) his vision of transportation was making sure we didn't have another bridge drop. It wasn't modernizing systems or replacing systems," Malloy said of the 1983 tragedy when the Mianus River Bridge on Interstate 95 in Greenwich collapsed, sending  three people to their deaths and seriously injuring three others.

"What we are trying to do is totally change our approach to transportation," Malloy said, who wants to widen highways, improve rail transportation and increase busing.

As he talked about train issues, Malloy made a gesture toward Jim Cameron, who was sitting away from the table, to acknowledge the longtime rail commuter advocate.

Also in attendance was Stamford Mayor David Martin and state Reps. William Tong, D-147th District, and Caroline Simmons, D-144th District as well as state Transportation Commissioner James Redeker.

Malloy said fixing the state's transportation system is a massive challenge.

"We knew that this was going to be big. We wanted to have a discussion about whether Connecticut wanted to do something about it or just wants to complain about it for the next four years," he said.

Malloy said he believed there is a consensus building that the entire system has to be improved.

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