Report by Paula Antolini, June 21, 2021, 6:14PM EDT
Governor Lamont’s Vision of Faster Trains is Manifesting; TIME FOR CT is the Foundational and Transformational Plan Connecticut Commuters Have Been Asking For
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti today revealed TIME FOR CT, the actionable plan to deliver the Lamont administration’s vision for safe, reliable, and fast train service in Connecticut – saving people up to 10 minutes in their commutes by 2022. The plan also shows that with investment in infrastructure and the rail fleet, future super-express service will save people up to 25 minutes by 2035.
“Connecticut is home to the most used commuter rail line in the country, and it is a key component of our economic growth, supporting the ability of thousands of people every day to get to their jobs and earn a living,” Governor Lamont said. “But our aging infrastructure is not only slowing our travels, it’s slowing our economic growth. Nobody wants to live and work in a place where they spend hours stuck in their daily commutes. Faster trains and faster highways mean more jobs. The actionable items we put in TIME FOR CT will make these needed improvements a reality.”
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“When Governor Lamont appointed me, he charged me with getting the trains to New York faster,” Commissioner Giulietti said. “The Connecticut Department of Transportation did the research and analysis and developed this foundational and transformational plan. We’re grateful to Governor Lamont, who has kept the pressure on, and to our partners, who are essential to moving this forward.”
TIME FOR CT is an $8 to $10 billion comprehensive investment program that, with funding, can provide additional capacity and improve needs, frequency, and reliability throughout Connecticut. The benefits include:
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- Save 10 minutes of travel time by 2022
- Reduce travel time by 25 minutes by 2035
- Use existing assets and stay within existing right-of-way
- Reduce impacts of climate change by attracting more people out of their cars
- Improve the resiliency of the New Haven Line
- Provide a new fleet for faster trip times and an improved passenger experience
- Improve access to education, jobs, and urban centers
- Support economic recovery from COVID through improved service
- Generate an estimated 45,000 direct construction jobs over 15 years
Full details on TIME FOR CT, including the New Haven Line capacity and speed analysis, the executive summary, and the TIME FOR CT rail map, have been published online at ct.gov/dot.
With funding, this plan can move forward. Improving the New Haven Line is just the beginning – it is a foundational first piece in the puzzle to connect all of Connecticut with faster, more frequent, and more direct rail service.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation will be looking to its partners at Amtrak, Metro-North, the labor and construction industry, the Federal Railroad Administration, and state and federal legislators to move TIME FOR CT forward. Total partnership is essential to realize the vision of new, faster, train service to both Grand Central Station and Penn Station, Governor Lamont and Commissioner Giulietti said.
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“Revolutionizing our state’s transportation infrastructure is a crucial part of the Connecticut comeback,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “TIME FOR CT is a bold step towards fast, reliable, and environmentally sustainable transportation in our state while also creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. I commend Governor Lamont and Commissioner Giulietti for their vision and leadership on bringing world-class transportation to Connecticut, and our federal partners for all they do to champion our infrastructure priorities in Washington.”
“Faster and more reliable rail service is crucial to our state’s economic growth,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said. “This transformational plan is exactly what Connecticut and our nation needs right now. Congress must act now and commit to making funds available to speed train service on the New Haven line, moving it into the 21st century. I commend Governor Lamont for his vision and will continue to fight for funding to improve our rail infrastructure.”
“I am thrilled to join Governor Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Transportation in celebrating the New Haven Line speed enhancement and capacity study, TIME FOR CT, through which we can realize travel time savings by as early as next year,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said. “With this plan and our strong federal, state, and local partnerships, we will be able to make robust improvements in Connecticut’s rail service that increase safety and foster sustainable economic growth. As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to increase federal investments in Connecticut’s transportation system to develop safe, reliable, fast rail service throughout the state.”
“There are so few opportunities available to us to make dramatic improvements, generational investments or to realize a transformative vision,” State Representative Roland Lemar, house chair of the Transportation Committee and co-chair of the Subcommittee for Transportation Bonding, said. “We have that opportunity before us now and we, as a state, cannot miss this moment or we will spend the next generation regretting our inability to be bold and commit to this plan. I am thrilled to be joined by our national, state and local leaders who recognize the opportunity we have and are all stepping forward to seize it.”
“The daily commuter has long desired a shorter commute time that allows for a more efficient use of their time, more time with family and an increased quality of life,” Jim Gildea, chair of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council, said. “This plan goes a long way towards accomplishing those wishes. We are hopeful that this exciting plan can be turned into a reality.”
“Public transportation is the lifeblood of our economy and at this critical moment, we need to invest in faster trips for Connecticut commuters,” Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said. “TIME FOR CT ticks every box – helping to improve service and cut down on travel times while protecting the environment. Funding it should be a top priority for legislators.”
“By investing in infrastructure improvements, our new high-speed trainsets and other service amenities, Amtrak’s Connecticut customers, including residents and visitors, will experience significant benefits when traveling by train throughout the state, including time savings,” Caroline Decker, vice president of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Service Line, said. “We thank our state and local partners who also share the vision of improved speeds and rail service expansion, to better serve the citizens of Connecticut and the region with strategic investments in rail infrastructure as will be realized through the New Haven Line vision and plan.”