FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The busiest commuter rail line in the country was even busier in 2015, with the Metro-North New Haven Line setting an all-time ridership record of 40.3 million passenger trips last year, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday.
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Ridership on the line was 39.6 million in 2014. The inner portion of the New Haven Line between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal saw a ridership growth of 3.6 percent, with commuter trips up 3.2 percent and discretionary travel up 4.3 percent. The outer portion of the line between Stamford and New Haven was up 1.3 percent in 2015, include a 0.2 percent growth in commuter trips and a 2.3 percent growth in non-commuters.
The Danbury and Waterbury branches of Metro-North also saw increases in ridership, with a 9.4 percent growth on the Danbury line and a 2.9 percent growth on the Waterbury line. The New Canaan branch saw a 1.7 percent decline in ridership in 2015.
Malloy announced the ridership numbers one day before the opening of the 2016 General Assembly legislative session. The governor has repeatedly called on legislators to approve a lockbox for transportation funds that would ensure that any money designated for transportation improvements cannot be spent on anything else. He echoed those sentiments again in Tuesday’s announcement.
“This a demonstration that, if we’re going to grow, we must continue to invest. Our future hinges on it. To grow businesses and attract jobs, we need to improve service and our infrastructure. The time to act is now,” Malloy said. “We need a lockbox to do it. A vote against the lockbox is a vote against improving transportation, against making our state more business friendly, and against building our capacity to attract new companies.”
Over the past several years, the state has made a number of investments in an effort to improve the New Haven Line, including the introduction of new M-8 cars, maintenance facilities, bridges and overhead lines.
“It’s interesting to note the increases in non-commuting passenger trips, because it proves that the New Haven Line is not just for people going to and from work,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redecker.
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