On Saturday May 4, members attending the annual meeting of the Hadlyme Public Hall Association voted unanimously to oppose the proposal by Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) to double the Connecticut River ferry fares to $6 and agreed to launch a petition drive opposing the fare increase.
Paper petitions will also be circulated throughout the communities served by the two Connecticut River ferries — the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry.
All the petitions will be presented to the state DOT officials who will be making the decision on whether to raise the fares and by how much.
The position adopted by the members at the meeting states that the Association opposes the state’s proposal to double the fares and instead urges the state to give serious consider to other alternatives that could increase revenues, including:
– Increasing posted fare prices but provide a discount for cars with Connecticut license plates.
– Institute a system of On-peak & Off-peak pricing (similar to that used by commuter railroads) that would charge higher fares on weekends and holidays when there are usually long lines of cars waiting to ride the ferries.
– Increase hours of operation on weekends and holidays to take advantage of generating more fares when ridership demand is the highest.
– In addition to the current discount ticket books, offer a flat “annual pass” fare with a sticker to place on cars to identify those who have purchased the pass.
– Working with state tourism and parks agencies, aggressively promote both Connecticut River ferries to tourists and visitors.
Connecticut DOT will be holding public hearings on the proposed fare increases on May 20 and 22.
Hadlyme Hall Association President Curt Michael urged all those conerned about or affected by the proposed fare increase to sign the petition and to attend the public hearings.