(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that newly released data from the Hartford Line shows that more than one million riders have utilized the commuter rail service since its launch on June 18, 2018. The one-millionth ride occurred during the busy Thanksgiving travel period in late November.
Ridership on the Hartford Line, which connects commuters to destinations between New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, has been growing at a rate of 25 percent year-over-year. Now a year and a half into its operations, the rail line is on track to exceed 750,000 passenger trips during its second year – outpacing the 666,960 passenger trips originally forecast.
Governor Lamont said the growing popularity of the rail service indicates the desire of Connecticut residents to utilize public transit as a regular commuting option and is another reason why the state should expand the Hartford Line as he is proposing under his CT2030 ten-year, multi-modal transportation plan to improve the state’s roads, trains, buses, airports, and ports.
Included in the many transportation upgrades in CT2030, which is currently under consideration by the state legislature, the governor is proposing to:
- Add a second line of rail tracks along the Hartford Line in the area north of Hartford to increase the frequency of service in the region;
- Add new train stations in Enfield and Windsor Locks;
- Create a connection from the new Windsor Locks train station directly to Bradley International Airport; and
- Add new digital displays at each Hartford Line station to provide real-time passenger information regarding train times and each train’s origin and destination.
“Central and northern Connecticut should have had a commuter rail line for decades – quite frankly it’s astounding that it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that the region finally got one, and these numbers show that people want more options to travel by rail,” Governor Lamont said. “Increased transportation options create new opportunities for economic growth, and the development that is occurring up and down the Hartford Line is a perfect example. We cannot stop here – this is case in point for accelerating transportation investments across the state.”
The governor also stressed that expanding public transit and providing transportation options for commuters without needing an automobile will have a major impact toward reducing the state’s carbon footprint and strengthening its ongoing efforts to combat the effects of climate change.
“We’ve been breaking ridership records since opening weekend,” Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “This new service is a huge win for the state. The Hartford Line helps both the Connecticut economy by creating jobs and spurring transit oriented development, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion on our highways.”
Commissioner Giulietti said that CTDOT attributes the success of the rail service in part to the highly coordinated schedules and great customer service provided by the two rail providers, Amtrak and Transit America Services, Inc. The “One Ticket, Any Train” program has allowed customers to buy their ticket wherever it is most convenient – at stations, online, or onboard – and use that ticket for travel on any train.
The following chart represents the monthly statistics for the Hartford Line since its launch:
|June 18 to June 30, 2018||22,050|