Ridership Increases Continue

for the Month of September on Connecticut Trains

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) today released preliminary ridership figures for the month of September on the New Haven and Shore Line East Rail Service.  Overall, Connecticut continues to experience a steady increase in ridership for both intra-state and inter-state train service.  On average, a 5 percent increase was experienced on the New Haven Line and a 9 percent increase overall on total number of rides for the Shore Line East Service.  The percentage reflects increases from the period of September 2005 compared to September 2004.

“This past September we saw a significant increase in ridership for both the New Haven and Shore Line East Service.  We are extremely pleased to see Connecticut residents discovering the value of our state’s public transit systems and using them in a consistent manner,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Stephen E. Korta, II. 

The New Haven Line, which is operated by Metro-North, experienced the following increases comparing September 2005 to September 2004:

  • 8 percent ridership increase for Connecticut intrastate service, which includes customers traveling between all points within Connecticut.  Year to date, the state has experienced on average a 6 percent increase from 2005 vs. 2004 for intrastate travel.
  • 6 percent ridership increase in passengers traveling between the Noroton Heights thru New Haven stations and Manhattan.
  • 4 percent ridership increase in passengers traveling between the Stamford thru Greenwich stations and Manhattan.
  • 12 percent ridership increase in passengers traveling on the Waterbury Branch, corresponding to approximately 10-15 additional daily passengers.
  • 7 percent increase in passengers traveling on the Danbury Branch, and a
  • 1 percent increase in passengers traveling on the New Canaan Branch.
  • On the new Late Night Train Service which started on October 2, 2005, Metro-North experienced a 150 percent ridership increase for the two new trains added and the time changes made to later departing trains.

Ridership increases reflect a variety of rail use through various new services allowing for additional passengers to utilize public transportation.  Metro North Railroad operates the New Haven and Branch Service for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The New Haven Line is one of the busiest commuter lines in North America, carrying over 110,000 daily commuters.  Out of the 110,000 daily total commuters on the New Haven Line, approximately 80,000 originate from Connecticut traveling to in-state or New York destinations.

For Shore Line East (SLE) Service, ridership increases were slightly higher for the month of September, 2005.  SLE experienced a 9 percent increase on the numbers of daily riders, corresponding overall to a 9 percent increase in total number of rides for the month of September 2005 compared to September 2004.  Trains with final destinations to the Stamford train station experienced a 1-2% increase in ridership or approximately a total of 830 riders each day for September. 

“We believe a number of issues contributed to the significant increases in ridership experienced on all of the Connecticut commuter rail lines.  The increase in fuel costs, new service improvements, and new train stations on Shore Line East have enhanced overall rail transportation in the state,” said Commissioner Korta.  “We thank our service operators, Metro North and Amtrak, for continuing to provide a high standard of service and support to our commuting public.”

Since the end of August, two new Shore Line East Train Stations -- Branford and Clinton -- have opened to the public.  These stations provide better customer-service to Connecticut commuters by providing level platforms access for easier boarding, enclosed waiting areas, and additional free parking.  The Guilford station is scheduled to open in November, 2005, completing three out of the five stations on Shore Line East.  The Madison and Westbrook Train Station are scheduled to begin construction in 2006.

Shore Line East (SLE) trains are owned and operated by CDOT under contract with Amtrak to provide daily rail operations.  Shore Line East has provided on average 1,800 rides per day with service from Monday through Friday.  Trains do not operate on Saturday, Sunday or major holidays.  Shore Line East Service connects at New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford stations for Metro-North service to New York City.  Reduced combined Shore Line East/Metro-North monthly commuter tickets are available.