Survey Questions and Candidate Responses

Gas prices are higher than ever, which is difficult for older adults on fixed incomes. Yet, alternatives to cars in Connecticut are limited. What will you do to help older adults access other forms of transportation?

Cynthia Mangini | Participating Election
To address the transportation issue for older adults, I would make public transportation readily available and affordable. This would be in the form of buses, taxis and any other means.
Nick Gauthier | Participating Election
Invest in mass-transportation and electrify and decarbonize our transportation and energy infrastructure.
Tammy Nuccio | Participating Election
We need to look at expansion of programs, such as dial a ride, for our senior populace. In my more rural towns there are no transportation opportunities for seniors or people with disabilities other than dial a ride and those services are very limited. As our population ages we need to evaluate the resources available to them in their home community.
Jonathan Steinberg | Participating Election
I've long been a proponent of public mass transportation as a public good requiring subsidies. Mass transit has been hurting because of reduced ridership during the pandemic and is struggling to recover. I favor significant investment in mass transit, while recognizing the urgent need to upgrade roads, rails and bridges as well.
John Carlson | Participating Election
Let's reduce gas and public transportation prices by reducing or eliminating the gas and diesel taxes. Many older adults are physically limited and need handicapped accessible buses or vehicles for transportation like those used by elderly homes. We need more of them available to transport the elderly. Grants or direct funding to supply more of these vehicles would be a starting point.
Anne Hughes | Participating Election
expand public mobility as a service; expand Medicaid coverage to include transportation to Adult Day Centers, non-medical appointments, find a better contract provider than VEYO.
Lisa Thomas | Participating Election
There must be increased investment in public transportation in all parts of the state, not just urban and suburban communities. In rural northeastern CT, it is nearly impossible to find affordable, accessible public transit. We need to make sure we get our fair share of the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure funds. Retirees and older adults deserve the choice to age in place, surrounded by their community networks. The senior transportation programs currently in place in our small towns are very limited.,
Kara Rochelle | Participating Election
I fought for and delivered on increased train service on the Waterbury Rail Line, which started on July 10th, 2022 after years of advocacy. This is one step to increasing public transit in the region. I also supported legislation to not only eliminate the gas tax but to provide free bus service for the public until December. This includes free ride service through Valley Transit, which services our region. I support extending this free ride service beyond December, and examining if we can extend it permanently, or extend free rides permanently for seniors. During Covid, I also coordinated with LYFT and a local nonprofit, Team Inc., to secure free ride codes from LYFT that Team could provide to seniors and other economically distressed residents to help them get to and from appointments, work, and other needed errands.
John Rasimas | Participating Election
We need to consider public transportation proposals that are either self-sustaining or require minimal public subsidies. In those cases requiring subsidies, we have to ensure that benefits exceed the costs of those subsidies.
Edwin Vargas | Participating Election
I will continue to support fare free bussing and programs like dial-a-ride.
MD Masudur Rahman | Participating Election
Expanding funding for programs like LOCHSTP that help our older adults on fixed incomes is critical, and I am supportive of all efforts to create programs that help older adults access other forms of transportation. I also support increasing service routes for CTtransit local buses and CTfastrak, to help make a car-free lifestyle more attainable for those who choose it.
David Michel | Participating Election
We should really make public transportation free for our seniors, especially if working at an older age. We need to keep expanding public transportation where it is not easily accessible. A stamford health study proved people from our most vulnerable communities, the West Side and the South End are lacking access to public transportation. It is an equity issue!!
Christine Palm | Participating Election
People need to understand that OPEC controls gas prices, not states or the Feds. In any case, the answer is more public transportation. I also support bringing back tolls, which could help pay for this. In my district, the 9-Town Transit does a great job helping elders get around, and they need to be expanded.
Don Mastronardi | Participating Election
We have numerous ride sharing companies in the State of CT. We should look to partner with non profits and private industry to create an elderly ride sharing program. The program would be paid by private business and non profits, not the taxpayer. This would avoid the government creating yet another program we can't afford but incentivize the market to provide a much needed service. I would allow businesses that are part of the program to write off 100 percent of their contribution on their taxes.
Julie Kushner | Participating Election
While gas prices are coming down, there’s no question that commuting costs impact seniors and low-income and middle income families. Connecticut needs to make substantial investments in our transportation network— including public transportation—to ensure that people of all ages and income levels are able to travel to work, doctors’ appointments, and to visit friends and family. The recent funding available for infrastructure improvements from the federal government makes now a great time both for capital improvements and expanding the service and frequency of bus routes and paratransit services. I look forward to working with residents, municipal officials, and transportation planners to make sure this funding improves commutes and travel times for our communities.
Robert Hotaling | Participating Election
We will work with Uber, Lyft, and local taxi services to provide door-to-door service integrated with public transportation with monthly or annual passes based on financial need. We’d like to keep the public component free so only the first and last mile taxis would have to be paid. These passes will be discounted with help from the transportation services partnering with the state and local governments.
Kimberly Becker | Participating Election
Working with my local towns and senior centers, I will advocate for free or steeply reduced bus passes for seniors, people with disabilities, and military veterans. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, especially for small towns like those in HD 62 which have little to no access to the bus system. For my district, I will advocate for expanded senior bus access to the senior centers, medical appointments, and shopping.
Jillian Gilchrest | Participating Election
I will continue working with my colleagues to invest in alternative modes of transportation.
Frank Smith | Participating Election
I was proud to support and help pass the reduction of the CT gas tax to zero, and I look forward to voting in favor of extending that tax reduction further into the future. I also support additional incentives for the purchase electric vehicles, which will further reduce reliance on gasoline.
Bob Godfrey | Participating Election
I call it greed-flation. Big oil was hurt by the pandemic, and realizes its days are numbered, so they're unnaturally raising prices. I supported free busses; let's continue it. Let's accelerate improvements to trains. There is a challenge regarding electric vehicles, not the least of which are charging stations and high purchase costs. There is also the challenge of upgrading our electric system, too. I'm looking forward to collaborating with my colleagues on this issue.