Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Sunday that she will propose a new round of transportation improvement plans that include commuter train service in central Connecticut and improved rail and bus service.
Rell proposed commuter rail service with eight trains daily each way between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield to supply what she called a "natural job development corridor." Amtrak provides service from New Haven to Springfield, but it is not a commuter line.
The governor's commuter train proposal endorses a plan that has been studied and backed by several state and local officials in Connecticut and Massachusetts. (AP)
On a day like today, when I slipped and slid all the way from Enfield to Springfield, the thought of useful bus service or a nice train ride instead of the interstate is mighty tempting.
The public transportation system in central and northern parts of the state is a mess. The buses are too infrequent, and run on confusing schedules, and train service anywhere north and east of New Haven is a joke. Try getting from New London to Northampton on public transportation sometime. It isn't easy, and it costs a fortune.
The commuter rail idea isn't new, as the article says, but has been in the works for a long time. In fact, this is a plan that my town of Enfield has taken a great deal of interest in. Train stations would be built or revamped all along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield corridor, including in Enfield and Newington to name a few. It's a great idea, and one long overdue.
The busway idea, as I have said before, is kind of stupid (should be a light rail line), but it's better than the nothing that currently exists.
Hartford County often takes a back seat, and rightfully so, to Fairfield County when transportation issues come up. But better public transportation in the Connecticut Valley will be good for the economy, good for commuters and good for the state as a whole. I'd like to see these projects move forward in the coming year. We need to do more than just talk about better transportation.
"Rell to propose 2nd transportation package." Associated Press 23 January, 2006.