Opinion: The $27 cup of Connecticut coffee

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The national average price of a cup of coffee is three dollars.  You would not pay $27 for a cup of coffee in Connecticut, would you?  The average price of an iPhone is $728 – does $6,500 sound like a good deal in Connecticut?  Nationally, cars sell for an average of $35,000 –  so that Honda here in Connecticut at $315,000 would be insane, right?

Note my Connecticut estimates above are each nine times the national average.  Why do my analogies use nine times the national average?  Because the amount of money Connecticut spends per mile of road in administrative costs is nine times the national average.   That’s right – according to the Reason Foundation’s annual study on state transportation performance and cost effectiveness rankings, Connecticut spends $99,417 per mile versus the national average of $10,864.  Administrative costs typically include general and main-office expenditures in support of state-administered highways – in other words those driving desks, not construction equipment.

The insanity does not stop there: Connecticut spent $498,000 in total disbursements per mile, sixth highest in the nation versus a national weighted average of $178,000.  These total costs include such items as capital, bridge maintenance, administrative costs, highway law enforcement and safety, interest on debt and payment of debt.   What are we getting for this massive and absurd expenditure?  Connecticut ranked among the bottom ten states in five of eleven categories used to determine the overall rankings, including urban interstate pavement conditions, total disbursements per mile and bridge deficiency.  McKinsey & Company ranked Connecticut the 40th worst state on transportation across bridge quality, commute time, public transit usage and road quality metrics.

We all know tolls are the hot topic and Connecticut is on the brink of financial catastrophe.  However, before you, I, or anyone else is required to pay more, shouldn’t we be asking a long list of questions?  Why is Connecticut nine times more expensive?   Who is responsible for the absurd costs?  Is the money being spent wisely?  Tolls would be mandatory so I guarantee you and I would ask these types of questions before being required to buy a $27 cup of coffee,  a $65,000 iPhone or a $315,000 Honda.  I say no tolls until a politician and the Connecticut Department of Transportation can explain this insanity of high costs and unacceptable results.


Kevin Kane



DR September 19, 2018 at 5:37 am

I agree there is too many people making way too much money doing way too little.
There are too many hands in the pot and unfortunately I cannot see it changing. In addition I feel local governments have grown way to big.
I see people being somehow mysteriously appointed to positions that would appear they have no real background experience, schooling or capabilities to perform in that position. Many people are individualized and are content with their salary and not interested in helping to correct these situations.
Internal politics should also be made more visible to working people to allow them to contribute and monitor the work being done by individuals in local government and hold them accountable. This includes having public meetings clearly announced ahead of time and not having them after decisions have already been made!

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