Tuesday, February 02, 2016
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line for 2015 surpassed 40.3 million passenger trips - up two percent from the prior year and setting an all-time record, according to newly released data from Metro-North Railroad. The New Haven Line is the busiest commuter rail line in America. In 2014, ridership was 39.6 million.
"What was already the busiest commuter rail line in the nation has only gotten busier. This is a demonstration that, if we're going to grow, we must continue to invest. Our future hinges on it. To grow businesses and attract jobs, we need to improve service and our infrastructure. The time to act is now," Governor Malloy said. "We need a lockbox to do it. A vote against the lockbox is a vote against improving transportation, against making our state more business friendly, and against building our capacity to attract new companies."
Over the last several years, the State of Connecticut has made a number of investments into improving the New Haven Line, most notably putting into service 405 new M-8 rail cars, in addition to a number of other investments, such as new maintenance facilities, new bridges and new overhead power lines.
The data released today shows that commuter ridership on the New Haven Line was up one percent in 2015 compared with 2014, while non-commuting discretionary ridership was up 2.9 percent.
The so-called "inner portion" of the New Haven Line - between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal - had ridership growth of 3.6 percent; commuter trips were up 3.2 percent and discretionary travel was up 4.3 percent. The "outer portion" - between Stamford and New Haven - was up 1.3 percent, including a 0.2 percent growth in commuter trips and a 2.3 percent growth for non-commuters.
The Danbury and Waterbury branches had significant ridership growth of 9.4 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. The New Canaan Branch had a decline of 1.7 percent in total ridership in 2015.
"It's interesting to note the increases in non-commuting passenger trips, because it proves that the New Haven Line is not just for people going to and from work," Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker said.
The New Haven Line is owned by the State of Connecticut and is operated by Metro-North Railroad under contract to the state Department of Transportation.