Oberlander focuses on transportation during listening tour

Jill Oberlander, at right, meets with commuters as her campaign for the state legislature continues.

Jill Oberlander, at right, meets with commuters as her campaign for the state legislature continues.

Democratic state representative candidate Jill Oberlander continued her listening tour throughout the district by meeting with commuter to discuss transportation.

On Oct. 8, Ms. Oberlander, who is facing off with Republican Mike Bocchino for the open seat in the 150th District, campaigned at Greenwich Train Station and asked commuters for their thoughts on Metro North’s performance. According to a campaign press release, the answers ranged from “It’s fine. I have no complaints” to “I hate it and I’ve been taking the train for 20 years.” Ms. Oberlander said one commuter even told her that running Metro North would be his dream job so he could conduct a complete, top to bottom overhaul.

Ms. Oberlander said that this will be an area she will focus on if elected and can use her past experience working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for close to six years to do so.

“As a state representative, she will use her insight and experience to help improve the overall performance of Metro North for Connecticut riders,” her campaign said. “Jill was a commuter herself for many years and thinks strategically about our transportation network and infrastructure, based on both her personal and professional experience.”

Ms. Oberlander pledged that she would be a “relentless advocate” for more federal and state funds to replace aging infrastructure.

“Jill believes that Connecticut residents deserve better and she will demand the highest standards of safety, reliability and service,” her campaign said. “Jill will also work to make sure that our trains continue to have sufficient electrical capacity, so riders aren’t left stranded due to outages. While a recent upgrade in Cos Cob replaced four aging transformers and nearly doubled electrical capacity, Jill will make sure that we are proactively addressing any other power issues that could affect our train service going forward.”

On traffic issues, Ms. Oberlander has said that to alleviate growing highway congestion she  will seek to create financial incentives that promote the use of public transportation through programs like pre-tax transit subsidies, which allow commuters to use pre- tax dollars to pay for their commutation costs and with HOV lanes and shared-ride programs as well as enforcing truck weight limits and set higher penalties for violations during peak hours.

“Jill believes everyone should have the freedom to choose their mode of travel, and that by implementing market incentives, we can reduce congestion,” her campaign said. “When in Hartford, Jill will not allow the legislature to forget that Greenwich is the single biggest contributor to our state’s economy. Investing in the transportation infrastructure of Greenwich, which is the gateway to New England, is a wise policy that will bolster the state’s economy over the long- term.”

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