State budget cuts could impact bus service in southeast CT; Uber - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State budget cuts could impact bus service in southeast CT; Uber possible alternative

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State budget cuts could impact bus service in southeast Connecticut. (WFSB) State budget cuts could impact bus service in southeast Connecticut. (WFSB)
STONIGNTON, CT (WFSB) -

Many communities were looking into Uber as an alternate transit provider if the state budget cuts impact bus service in southeast Connecticut. 

There were no passengers at Stonington Town Hall on Wednesday morning to pick up or drop off by the Southeast Area Transit driver for route number 10, Pawcatuck/Mystic.  

Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons said their informal survey only shows a couple of dozen regular riders in this rural route. As a member of seat's board, Simmons said he's looking for an alternative transit partner should the route be dropped.

"Possibly Uber maybe the local cab companies we scheduled meetings with them as well,” Simmons said.   

 "Uber's technology can make it easier to access transit hubs and encourage people to shift away from private car ownership,” Uber said in a statement to Eyewitness News on Wednesday.  

The city of New London is also considering Uber as a back-up plan should seat service be cut. At the terminal on Water Street, some riders told Eyewitness News they don't find Uber to convenient.

"Obviously, the bus is a bit cheaper for us,” Juan Herrera, of Uncasville said.  

"I heard for Uber you have to have a bank account and you pay on-line,” Bruno Diaz Martinez, of New London, said. Not everybody has a bank account like me."

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation on Wednesday afternoon, there are no projected cuts for SEAT services. But, Simmons said he still has to be prepared."

Simmons said the DOT was considering a 50% cut in funding to seat and bus route #10 that serves his town has very few riders. 

"We have a hard core of about 20 riders,” Simmons said. “OK and that's not a lot, compared to some of the other routes."

Both Stonington and New London officials said if cuts aren't made, they still plan on meeting with Uber to try and work out a back-up plan.

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