Gov. Malloy Celebrates Grand Opening of Hartford Line Station in Meriden, Reiterates Call to Stabilize Special Transportation Fund
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, alongside Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker and numerous federal and state officials, today held a ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of the new CTrail Hartford Line Meriden Station, located at 60 State Street. The station will provide service to existing Amtrak trains and future Hartford Line trains when the CTrail Hartford Line passenger rail service launches in June 2018. Importantly, it offers visitors more convenient access to the city’s new transit-oriented development (TOD) sites, located in direct proximity to the new station.
“My administration has been committed to improving transportation options for families and businesses,” Governor Malloy said. “This new station is a catalyst for transit-oriented development in Meriden, helping to make it a more livable, walkable community and drastically increasing transportation choices for commuters. The Hartford Line will allow Connecticut residents to look to transit rather than automobiles, resulting in less traffic on our overburdened highways, fewer emissions, and healthier communities.”
Construction of the station began in December 2014 and was completed in November 2017. It features several amenities aimed at improving the passenger experience for Hartford Line riders, including high-level platforms on both sides of the tracks, elevators, stairways, an overhead pedestrian bridge, canopies covering approximately 50 percent of each platform, ticket vending machines, and a passenger information display system. To improve passenger safety, the new station features automatic platform snow melting systems, security cameras, and blue light emergency call boxes.
The station includes a 65-space surface parking lot, and additional parking is available in a recently opened garage located at the intersection of Colony Street and Church Street that has approximately 225 spaces reserved for Hartford Line passengers and the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the station parking lot includes one electric vehicle charging station, with three more located in the parking garage. Each charging station allows two vehicles to charge at once.
“The robust and customer-centric station you see here today is an illustration of the years of commitment and collaboration between the department, its program management team and the City of Meriden,” CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. “The station is already driving economic development, and with the expected increase in rail ridership following launch, this station and others along the Hartford Line will serve Connecticut communities well for years to come.”
“We’re proud to celebrate the opening of the Meriden station and the significant benefits it will create for passengers and the city,” Tom Moritz, Assistant Vice President of Infrastructure Access and Investment at Amtrak, said. “We offer our congratulations and thanks to Governor Malloy and CTDOT for their strong vision and partnership in bringing reliable and convenient passenger rail services to the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts.”
“TransitAmerica Services, Inc. and Alternate Concepts, Inc. are excited to be a part of the transportation renaissance that is taking place in Connecticut,” Douglas M. Honn, General Manager of the company that will provide the new rail service, said. “We look forward, along with our partners at CTDOT, Amtrak, Metro-North and the FRA to providing a safe, reliable, cost effective transportation alternative to commuters up and down the I-91 corridor.”
“I’m truly excited to see the new rail station open in Meriden. Our residents will have a gateway to Hartford, Springfield, Boston and New York City through a state of the art rail station, located in a safe, convenient location in Meriden’s center,” Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said. “The opportunities for our residents to travel the Northeast Corridor and beyond are a great convenience. As part of the TOD, the potential benefits to local businesses and those businesses looking for a centrally located city with many economic incentives of all types are great. To all, we say welcome. My thanks to Governor Malloy and our state and federal delegations for their vision and securing the funding for this incredible station and the Hartford Line. We look forward to the great rewards and opportunities this rail station will offer the Meriden community over the years to come. On behalf of the City Council, our staff and residents I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations on this special d
Before opening, Meriden’s new rail station spurred several TOD projects, including a 273-space parking garage, three mixed-use developments totaling 295 new residential units and 31,000 square feet of commercial space, a new Transit Center, a 14-acre town green, and the demolition of the Mills public housing project and the former Record-Journal building. Ongoing public and private investment in Meriden’s TOD projects exceeds $150 million. One of these new developments, 24 Colony Street, which is just steps from the new Hartford Line train station, was completed in December 2016 and is the first new construction in downtown Meriden in 30 years.
Governor Malloy also reiterated his call for additional revenue to ensure the short and long-term solvency of the Special Transportation Fund (STF), which without prompt action will be in deficit by fiscal year 2019.
“Investment in our infrastructure should not be seen as optional,” Governor Malloy said. “The state has been forced to cancel or postpone indefinitely $4.3 billion in projects across Connecticut, almost all of which are aimed at keeping our roads and bridges back in a state of good repair. And this isn’t just about safety – it’s about our economy. We simply cannot afford to allow our infrastructure to fall further behind even as our neighbors make much-needed investments.”
The administration continues to warn that failure to shore up funding for the STF would cause drastic increases in rail and bus fares; major service reductions on Metro-North, Shore Line East, and CTtransit bus services; and prevent essential repairs and upgrades to the state’s transportation system. Without the reinstatement of canceled projects, Connecticut’s infrastructure will fall further into a state of disrepair, making our roads and bridges less safe for residents and harming the state’s economy.