2005 Annual Ridership 

Higher Ridership Marks New Record for 2005 on Connecticut Trains

New Haven & Shore Line East Service Show Steady Increases
Instate Commuting Service Tops Increases on Ridership

Connecticut’s Commuter Rail Service experienced remarkable increases in passenger service for 2005. In total, nearly one million additional train passengers traveled on the New Haven Line in 2005, a 3.2 percent increase from 2004. On Shore Line East, nearly 15,000 additional rides were recorded, marking nearly a 5 percent increase from 2004.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) today released its annual rail ridership report for the calendar year 2005 on the New Haven and Shore Line East Rail Service, marking noticeable increases in in-state commuters rail service. Shore Line East showed remarkable ridership increases overall through out the year at on average 4.45 percent, with the last several months jumping to double digits increases. Overall, Connecticut continues to experience a heathly in-state ridership increase in train service. (See Data Tables for Monthly Details )

“Connecticut is experiencing a steady increase in commuting residents utilizing our two rail services for travel. These increases speak high of the need for the state to continue supporting public transit and infrastructure improvements as planned in the last sessions transportation package. The state has seen our residents utilizing more rail service in-state for their travels. 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, also experienced the record increases on their Harlem and Hudson Lines. Metro-North attributes part of those increases to delivery of new M-7 electric car fleet and new train stations to support growing commuting public.

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 significantly higher in the past three months showing increases from 9 to 22 percent increases of the numbers of daily riders. 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.”

In 2005, the state opened three new Shore Line East Train Stations – Branford, Guilford 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 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.

2005 Ridership Charts (PDF Format)