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June 18, 2019

DOT: Rail line exceeds first-year passenger goal


State officials on Monday said the 62-mile CTrail Hartford Line outperformed its first-year goal by approximately 50,500 passengers.

A total of 634,000 passengers traveled on the rail line during its first year moving riders between New Haven and Springfield, according to a report released Monday by the state Department of Transportation (DOT). That represents 8.6 percent more riders than the 583,000 commuters DOT expected the line to carry in the first year.

Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials on Monday also lauded the $769 million Hartford Line for spurring major investments along its new and existing stations. 

Approximately $430 million has been invested in transit-oriented development near stations in Berlin, Meriden, Wallingford, Windsor and Windsor Locks in recent years, estimates show.

That includes about 1,400 residential units and 242,000 square feet of commercial and office space that’s been built or is currently being designed.

“The Hartford Line is one component of creating a fast, efficient transportation system that works,” Lamont said in a statement. “It’s only been one year and ridership has been higher than expected but we cannot stop here – we must build the infrastructure that businesses and commuters need for today’s economy.”

According to the report, from July 2018 to April 2019, the Hartford Line averaged 51,000 passengers per month, including 2,000 boardings per day on weekdays.

A passenger satisfaction survey conducted in November says riders scored “on-board ticket collection” at 94.3 percent, “courtesy of crew” at 93.5 percent and 87.6 percent reported being “satisfied overall.”

DOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti called year one of the Hartford Line a “success on every level.”

“Riders consistently rave about the frequency of service and conditions on board,” Giulietti said. “Even so, we continue to look for ways to improve schedules and reliability to meet the needs of our passengers.”

Under the fiscal year 2019 state budget, the Hartford Line operated at a cost of $43.9 million and generated $7.2 million in revenue. It also benefited from a $36.7 million federal/state subsidy.

There are 32 trains operating on the rail line during weekdays. It currently has nine stations in operation and four others are being planned in Newington, West Hartford, Enfield and North Haven.

View DOT’s report here

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