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For Some Foxwoods Workers, Bus is Ticket to a Better Life

29 March 2004

MASHANTUCKET Connecticut – As reported by the (Connecticut) Day: `` Ursula Scott, sober and employed at 42 after struggling for 20 years with a substance abuse problem, was not going to quietly accept the news that bus service from Hartford to Foxwoods Resort Casino would be discontinued.

``There was no way Scott, who delivers supplies to hotel rooms and is taking courses to become a drug and alcohol counselor, was going back to her old life.

``She and others who work at the casino through a welfare-to-work program mobilized after learning last month that state funding for the bus service would end soon. They told their stories in the executive suite at Foxwoods, Hartford City Hall and the statehouse, and people listened. State Rep. Marie Kirkley-Bey, D-Hartford, said last week that she has been told the bus funding is assured through the end of the next budget year.

``Seventy-seven people, including 60 from Hartford and 17 from New Britain, are currently riding three buses. Five of the employees from Hartford work at Mohegan Sun. The employees contribute $60 a month apiece for the bus service.

``Mario Marrero, of the Capital Region Council of Governments, acknowledged that the transportation, at $492,000 a year, is expensive. He said, however, that he "costed out" what the price tag would be if the recipients were back on assistance, and the public is still paying less…"

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