Thursday, April 16, 2009

Transportation Center Public Hearing

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is in the process of making some important and very consequential decisions about public transportation in Waterbury. On Tuesday, April 21 there will be a public hearing regarding a proposed Transportation Center on Meadow Street. The hearing will be held at WDC, 2nd floor, Leavenworth Street, beginning at 6:30.

The state is also considering upgrades to the Waterbury train line. Judging by the primitive features of the line, I wonder if any changes have been made since the repairs following the 1955 flood. It's still a diesel engine, with only one train able to run at a time.

I now make frequent trips to NYC and have thus become very dependent upon the MetroNorth trains. There's no way I could survive driving there and back so frequently. Every so often, because there are so few trains to and from Waterbury, I drive down to Bridgeport to get on the train there. The morning drive is fine, but the return drive at night is rough, because I am so very tired. (Taking the bus is not an option for me--I get motion sickness and, besides which, they just aren't as nice as the train.)

This morning, I was very pleased to read a short news article about Obama calling for a massive upgrade of our passenger rail network. While our President is urging high-speed rail lines, the Waterbury line is still diesel. Boy are we behind the times!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, when John Rowland was still governor, he said that according to a financial analysis it would be cheaper for the state to provide each Waterbury branch passenger with a free private limousine ride to and from Bridgeport than it would to keep subsidizing passenger service.

Of course, if the schedule weren't so poor, ridership would be higher, so it's sort of circular reasoning. Interestingly, I now use a Long Island Rail Road line (the Ronkonkoma-Greenport shuttle) that suffers from the same problem as the Waterbury branch, very poor service leading to very low ridership.