« AnteriorContinuar »
express, whatever you call it, fast train program, were to develop so that it wasn't a long term, but say 3 or 4 years until that was developed and a new look taken.
I think that is a most realistic approach.
Senator Scott. Thank you very much, Governor. That is all I have.
Senator PASTORE. And that is what I have been suggesting right along, Hugh, because I think there needs to be a lot of talking here and the more I look at this picture, the more I feel that these Governors are competent enough that if they got their heads together, they could straighten this problem out maybe better than we can.
Governor ROCKEFELLER. You are very generous. We have gotten two heads together so far and we are now going to take it to four and we will do our best, Mr. Chairman.
Senator PASTORE. Senator Pell has a question or two, Governor, if you don't mind.
Senator PELL. Thank you, Senator.
In connection with the theory of the compact, I was wondering if you had any other thought with regard to a formula that might be acceptable to New York.
As you know, Senator Javits has introduced a two-State compact bill. I have introduced a four-State compact bill. My formula is based on a passenger-mile basis which, as you are aware, means 47 percent of the passenger-miles of this line are running into New York.
Do you have any other thoughts as to what might be acceptable to your general assembly if this formula were unacceptable?
Governor ROCKEFELLER. Senator, if we as States were unwilling to do anything about commuter service, then I could see it, but you did not know that we were approaching the moment of truth in that respect. Therefore, I can well understand the concept which you proposed and which Senator Javits proposed in the two States.
However, in light of coping with the commuter problem on a separate State, but contract basis, I think that perhaps there will be some other way to meet this than the four-State compact for the long haul.
I say this and give you an illustration. Yesterday, on my way down here, I went to New Jersey to meet with Governor Hughes and the legislative leaders of both his houses, majority and minority, who for 3 years have refused to ratify the Tri-State Transportation Authority which we in New York have approved.
The reason for not approving was the very same reason we have been frightened on this other one, they didn't want to be implicated in any of the costs, operating costs of the New Haven, and they didn't know how, but they just had a feeling that somehow they might be involved.
There is a real reluctance on the part of legislators to enter into these multistate compacts which they don't have control or have no way of seeing what the fiscal implications of that is to finance.
This, I think, is the reluctance naturally from your point of view, as a Senator, seeing it on a national basis, it looks simpler and a more clean way of handling it, but I think there is a natural reluctance on the part of the legislature.
Senator PELL. I understand that and that is why we were trying to figure out some formula that would be essentially fair. I do think
the record should show that the administration's initiation of the quick train project is not one that sets a precedent for Federal involvement.
Actually, this project developed for an idea for a compact, Senate Joint Resolution 16, which is presently before the Congress, and it generated out of the compact. It did not generate out of the Federal involvement per se.
Governor ROCKEFELLER. Senator, was that the committee that was set up, which was known as the Kennedy plan? Is that the same project ?
Senator PELL. No, I am going
Governor ROCKEFELLER. That did go with the mayor. He talked to us in New York about appointing a representative or going, and that was 2 or 3 years ago, and New York did not go along with that for the simple reason that again, there was a commitment by a larger number of individuals in which we were bound without any knowledge of what the commitment would be, the amount of the fiscal implications and so forth, and we frankly did not join in that for the same
That was 3 years ago. This, I think, you will find is a general reluctance of States to enter into something where they lose their authority. And I think that as we have with our local governments, we have been passing legislation sort of a local home rule charter, and allowing local communities to contract with each other for services, for studies, and so forth.
This is proving to be a useful channel, I think, if things can be done on a basis where the States agree to work together, but are not bound by the action of others where their own vote just doesn't count.
Senator PELL. Thank you.
Senator Scott. Governor, I just want to raise this for what it is worth; in considering Federal basis for legislation, you have mentioned that perhaps the approach is best founded on the need for a national transportation policy rather than regional solutions.
I would like to suggest a further basis of Federal concern, and that is without going into all of the figures, the mail and express revenues, which in 1963 furnished the railroad with receipts on mail of $7,034,543, and on express, $1,872,930, and of course, if they didn't have this, the deficit would be that much greater, but the Federal Government does, it seems to me, have considerable interest in the hauling of the mails and the failure of other railroads to include the passenger service, would, as I understand it, eliminate the carriage of the mail and express, which is not part of the freight service.
That in turn goes to the airlines, and further adds to the burden of the airline transport, and eventually you need bigger airlines, and bigger airfields and more planes and so forth.
While this may be tangental to the main approach, I do throw it out because the Federal Government, I think, has a very considerable concern in every method available to it of expediting the mail and express service.
Do you agree with that?
Governor ROCKEFELLER. Senator, I do not have the facts to substantiate the impression which I have, but with that background, I would like to say that from what I understand, the New Haven is losing money on the mail contracts and that the Federal system, as it was a number of years ago, whether it is the same now, where the railroads are required to carry mail cars on the trains, and then the car is used, if there is not empty space, in an airport to take the mail, but they fill the airplanes, where the space is available, and if it isn't available, then they put it on the train.
But the train has to carry the cars anyhow, so the trains are providing the space for the mail, and the lucrative revenues go to the airports, when they have space available. And I think this has resulted'in the railroads losing, at least the New Haven, losing money on the mail contract.
Senator Scott. It was indicated to me that it might be a matter, that was possible and I am very interested to learn that the contrary may be true. At any rate I simply added that thought because we are all looking for a means of founding any relief on Federal responsibility.
Governor ROCKEFELLER. Senator, our basic worry is buying sort of a pig a poke, where we don't know what we are getting into. We haven't any objection to meeting our responsibilities as a State if we know what they are.
But if we are going to pick up deficits and we disagree as widely as we have with the trustees on their estimate of deficits, we are frightened and our legislators are the same. If we contract for a service, we know what we are getting, we know what we are going to pay, OK, and if the Federal Government has some plan where they take, like a 90-to-10 program, OK, where it is definite, but it is indefinite, indefiniteness that has concerned us.
Senator PASTORE. Which brings me to my firm conviction here, as Senator Scott has pointed out, this is an essential service, the carrying of mail. The Penn-Central combine was already agreed to include the freight service.
I think if we can make an adjustment on the New York commuter service, it will be included. You have already pointed out that the saving by merger will be in the neighborhood of $100 million. What are we talking about here—a deficit of $5 million or $6 million, maybe $10 million at the most? Look what it means to the Pennsylvania to have people get on in Boston, to have people get on in Providence, and New London, and New Haven, and Saybrook, and Bridgeport and be dumped into the stations, not dumped, but get off-sometimes they are dumped with those cars—to get off at the station and make their other train connections. Whereas if the people in Boston didn't have that service, they would take a plane. And once they get on a plane, they are not going to get on a train in New York.
Now that means something to them in the case of a merger and I think if you Governors would only get together and talk about this thing seriously, with the trustees, and with the management, and with a little pressure brought upon the Justice Department to get off dead center on its objection, and I understand that they are coming around to that—this matter could be worked out. Governor ROCKEFELLER. Yes, sir.
Senator PASTORE. Out of all this we could save this railroad. And with that, we recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow in New Haven, Conn.
Governor ROCKEFELLER. God bless you, Mr. Chairman. (Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the hearing was recessed to 10 a.m., Thursday, March 11, 1965, in New Haven, Conn.)
THE CRISIS IN PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1965
ARMY RESERVE TRAINING CENTER,
New Haven, Conn. The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:15 a.m., in the Army Reserve Training Center, New Haven, Conn., Hon. John O. Pastore presiding
Senator PASTORE. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are ready, this committee is.
First of all, I want to take this occasion to thank Governor Dempsey for the many courtesies that he has extended to this committee in assisting us with our plans to meet were today.
We left Washington by plane at 7 o'clock. We arrived here shortly after 9 o'clock, and he was very kind and generous and considerate in providing automobile transportation to these quarters.
I might say at the outset, when the committee was originally apprised of the desire of certain commuters and others who are interested in this New Haven problem, that they desired a hearing in New Haven, we were informed that the number would constitute around 200.
As I look out at this audience in this large auditorium, that is not the case. Therefore, it makes this kind of an arrangement rather awkward, and, I think, undesirable.
What we propose to do, and I hope this meets with the approval of all who are here, we will now open this hearing, we will go until 12 o'clock. We will recess until 1:30, and then meet in the Federal Building, in the courtroom, for the rest of the witnesses.
If we remain here, we are going to end up shouting at one another. It looks like we are in the Waldorf Astoria.
I want to thank your very distinguished Senator Abe Ribicoff, who is a dear friend of mine, and who has come here today. He is not a member of the committee, but he is very much interested in the problem. He arose at 4 o'clock this morning in Detroit in order to get here.
I want to thank Congressman Giaimo for his interest. As a matter of fact, he came up with us on the plane. And, also, Congressman Irwin, who came up on the same plane.
I understand there is a representative of Mr. Dodd's office here. Is he here?
Senator PASTORE. I had assumed he might be here. If he does come, he is welcome to come to this table.
Now, we have a sizable list of witnesses.
Is there anyone who has traveled far in order to be here and would like to get away as soon as possible? If so, rise and identify yourself. Mr. PADULA. My name is Louis J. Padula. I am from the Connecticut House of Representatives. I would like to go back as soon as I can to consider some legislation.
Mr. HICKEY. I am William Hickey. I am a member of the State senate. I would like to get back as soon as possible.
Mr. MICHAELIAN. I am the county executive of Westchester County. I have a luncheon engagement back in Westchester, and I must be back in Westchester as soon as possible.
Mr. CONGDON. My name is Howard S. Congdon, and I am from the Providence Chamber of Commerce. We would like to return as soon as possible.
Mr. BASSETT. I would appreciate the consideration of the committee, especially you, Mr. Chairman, if I can be heard at the earliest opportunity.
Senator PASTORE. All right. We will hear the two representatives, and we will hear Mr. Michaelian, and we will hear from Mr. Congdon, and then we will hear you. Is that satisfactory?
Mr. BASSETT. Yes.
Senator PASTORE. Now, gentlemen, I would hope you could be as brief as possible. If your statements are lengthy, put them in the record. We will read them, we will study them, and I will be happy if you will avoid, as much as possible, repetition.
But we are here to gather all the information we can, and we are not trying to shut anyone off or cut them short. But, please, have everyone else in mind, if you testify here. And I hope no one will testify more than 10 minutes.
All right, will you identify yourself for the record, please ?
Mr. HICKEY. Mr. Chairman, Senator Ribicoff, members of the committee, my name is William Hickey. I represent the 27th Senatorial District in the Connecticut State Senate. And I am also under appointment by Governor Dempsey as liaison member between the Connecticut General Assembly and the Connecticut Transportation Authority.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished committee members, as a resident of Fairfield County, a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, long being informed in the problems of the New Haven Railroad, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to your committee at this most crucial hour in this railroad's future.
First, may I add my views to the many others which you have heard, in urging and pleading that your committee take the necessary action for initiating Federal assistance to the New Haven Railroad.
I am quite sure that the many hours of testimony given before your committee have made it clear that this mode of transportation is absolutely vital to the southwestern portion of our State, and, in connection therewith, I believe to the continuous extending economic development of Connecticut as a whole.
I would only repeat, any discontinuance of service by the railroad would be nothing short of a catastrophe to our State.
I know that voluminous evidence, supporting statements, have been given to your committee by many, with varied connections to the railroad.
Notably in this group would be our congressional delegation led by Senators Ribicoff and 'Dodd. Both of these distinguished Members of your body have proposed detailed and far-reaching plans in this record, and I am confident that they, along with many other excellent