Connecticut Celebrates Anniversary of Passenger Rail Expansion

The Connecticut Department of Transportation recently helped celebrate the first anniversary of the CTrail Hartford Line, which connects multiple stations in Central Connecticut along the I-91 corridor. It was the first rail line to open for service in Connecticut since 1990, the agency noted.

During its first year of service, an estimated 634,000 passengers used the new Hartford service, according to a “year one” report released today by the Connecticut DOT, about 51,000 more than originally projected for the first year.
Roughly 32 trains operate each weekday on the Hartford Line, which complements existing Amtrak service.

“The Hartford Line is a success on every level,” noted Joe Giulietti, commissioner of the Connecticut DOT, in a statement. “Riders consistently rave about the frequency of service and conditions on board. Even so, we continue to look for ways to improve schedules and reliability to meet the needs of our passengers.”

In a passenger satisfaction survey conducted by the agency in November, overall satisfaction with the service quality was high, with five rating characteristics receiving a satisfaction score of at least 90 percent, led by the “on-board ticket collection” at 94.3 percent, and “courtesy of crew” at 93.5 percent. A strong majority of riders, 87.6 percent, reported being satisfied overall, the Connecticut DOT said.

“We need to dramatically improve our transportation system to compete in a 21st-century economy that attracts businesses and provides the critical infrastructure needed to move goods, services, and people,” noted Gov. Ned Lamont (D) in a statement. “The Hartford Line is one component of creating a fast, efficient transportation system that works. It’s only been one year and ridership has been higher than expected but we cannot stop here – we must build the infrastructure that businesses and commuters need for today’s economy.”

The opening of the Hartford Line has also “invigorated” development activity around each station, the governor added, with an estimated $430 million being invested in new development along the I-91 corridor in recent years, much of it while the rail line was still in development.

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