CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
|FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2015||
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
FAX: (860) 594-3065
WEB SITE: www.ct.gov/dot
GOV. MALLOY: RECORD RIDERSHIP ON NEW HAVEN LINE DEMONSTRATES THE NEED FOR CONTINUED COMMITMENT IN OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Ridership in 2014 Reached Record Level at 39.6 Million Passenger Trips
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line reached record highs in 2014, with 39.6 million passenger trips – a 1.6 percent increase over 2013 – according to numbers released today by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, parent of Metro-North, the operator of the New Haven Line.
The Governor said that the data demonstrates the state’s need to focus on a continued commitment to its transportation system, including rail.
“With record high ridership, commuters in Connecticut are increasingly choosing to use public transportation, demonstrating that a modern and efficient transportation network is one of the key components of a competitive economic climate,” Governor Malloy said. “The data only further emphasizes the reasons why we need to continue our efforts to improve infrastructure and operations so that we can provide residents with the best-in-class service they need to commute in their daily lives and reinvigorate communities.”
Governor Malloy this year proposed historic upgrades to Connecticut’s transportation system, including a recommitment to rail throughout the state, encouraging transit-oriented development that includes new housing, new retail, and new office space.
The Governor’s proposals include funding to finish design and construction for train stations up and down the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Line and double-tracking the entire rail line to bring commuter rail service to that section of the state; building new stations in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Orange on the New Haven Line; and completing a new parking garage at the station in New Haven. He has also proposed funds to upgrade and repair bridges on the New Haven Line, in addition to completing a build-out of a new signal system on the Waterbury Branch that will allow for increased ridership and more frequent service, helping communities throughout Naugatuck Valley revitalize their downtowns.
Overall, ridership on the Metro-North system in Connecticut and New York was up 1.5 percent in 2014 – 85.2 million passenger trips compared with 83.9 million in 2013, also a record. The New Haven Line and Long Island Railroad remain the busiest commuter lines in America. Metro-North is projecting continued ridership growth in 2015 of about 2.2 percent.
“Interestingly, most ridership growth on the railroads has come outside of traditional rush-hour-based commutation patterns,” CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said.
Underpinning the overall ridership growth, the Commissioner noted, are changing ticket purchase patterns as a result of three overall factors:
- Workplace locations continue to become less centralized
- Industries that traditionally favored a 9-to-5 workday like manufacturing and publishing are giving way to ascendant industries with less traditional working hours, such as health care, arts and entertainment, education, and hospitality
- Many are increasingly gravitating to the railroads for leisure travel.
Ridership growth can also be attributed to increased levels of service, including new half-hourly service that was added on the New Haven Line in 2014. In addition, CTDOT and Metro-North added 66 weekly trains in October 2012 and 187 weekly trains in October 2013.
The growth occurred despite unusually harsh winter weather between January and March of 2014.