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Photo of Senator Bob Duff.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

Investing in Mass Transit

On Friday, I joined dozens of federal, state, and local officials, and Connecticut commuters to officially launch the CTrail Hartford Line for service. The passenger rail line, which has multiple stations in Central Connecticut along the I-91 corridor connecting New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield, is the first passenger rail line to open for service in Connecticut since 1990.

CT Trains

This is great news for Connecticut commuters and businesses. Providing convenient, affordable and reliable mass transportation is essential to Connecticut’s economic future.

The CTrail Hartford Line attracted a total of 21,850 riders over the course of its two-day opening weekend of service, during which travel was free to celebrate the launch. Sunday attracted a phenomenal response of 11,550 riders, surpassing the 10,300 who rode the train on its opening day of service Saturday.

Regular weekday service began Monday morning with the first train from New Haven leaving at 4:35 a.m. and the first train from Springfield at 5:23 a.m. There are 17 weekday trains between New Haven and Hartford, including 12 that continue further north to Springfield.

Stations along the line include New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Springfield, Massachusetts. Trains run approximately every 45 minutes during the morning and evening peak periods. Fares along the line vary depending on place of origin and destination. Riders will pay $8 for a one-way ticket between Hartford and New Haven with discounts available for weekly and monthly commuters.

The Hartford Line connects commuters to existing rail services in New Haven that allow for easy connections to Boston, New York City, and beyond, including the New Haven Line (Metro-North), Shore Line East, Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional services. CTtransit local bus service is also available at most stations along the line, and connections to the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system is available in Hartford.

For information about the CTrail Hartford Line, visit www.hartfordline.com, connect via Facebook at www.facebook.com/hartfordline, through Twitter at @hartfordline, or through Instagram @hartfordlinect.

Good Economic News for Connecticut

Connecticut added 4,100 jobs in May. Private sector jobs continue to increase. Government sector jobs continue to decrease. There are 13% fewer state workers per every state resident, which is the lowest level since 1960.

jobs

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently announced development plans for four large fuel cell projects across the state. Our environmental policy of producing clean energy along with our economic policy of promoting home-grown jobs are aligned.

Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to Norwalk High School, Brien McMahon High School and Darien High School on your graduations this week.

One of the reasons why we have the most highly educated and highly productive workforce is because we invest in our children and support our teachers.

grads

I was honored to speak at Side By Side’s eighth-grade commencement and Nathan Hale Middle School's promotion. I want to congratulate them and all of the students in Norwalk and Darien on their promotions and graduations this week. Best of luck on your next challenge.

Visiting Kendall Elementary School

Kendall

Thanks to Ms. Scicchitano's fourth-grade class at Kendall Elementary School for inviting me for a visit. It was great to meet with a really special group of kids.

Summer Safety Tips

Now that school’s out, parents and students from kindergarten through high school should step-up their safety protocols to deal with a variety of summer-specific challenges.

Summer
  • There’s an old saying that “A bouncing ball is usually followed by a child.” Watch for balls and toys that appear suddenly in the roadway – a child may quickly chase after them without checking both ways for traffic. To help protect your kids who are playing in the driveway, you may want to park your car on the street across the bottom of your driveway, or place bright orange traffic cones near your driveway to alert oncoming drivers to the presence of children playing.
  • Don’t allow your children to walk or cross streets while distracted by a cell phone or listening to music through headphones. Having a phone out or listening to music drastically lowers your sense of awareness, so turn off the music or pause the phone conversation while crossing the street to make sure you and/or your child is properly keeping an eye (and an ear!) out for cars.
  • Also watch out for vehicles backing out of a driveway or in a shopping mall parking lot. It’s difficult for drivers to see directly behind them, even with today’s back-up cameras, so watch for the white back-up lights on cars and steer yourself clear.
  • Of course summer is also a time for heat-related illnesses. Be sure to take extra breaks if you are working or playing outdoors, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Mosquitoes can cause a number of illnesses, including the Zika and West Nile viruses. There are 176 species of mosquito in the United States, and the two most common bite humans during the day (especially mid-day when the sun is at its peak) and the early evening hours. Use insect repellant if you are going to be outside for extended periods of time or are engaging in sunset activities, such as a picnic or sporting event.
  • Be sure to wear a helmet while bicycling or skateboarding! In 2015, more than125,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while skateboarding. Serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries can occur without a helmet.
  • Playgrounds are a popular summer recreation destination, but be sure to monitor your children’s activities. Look for a playground with several inches of soft rubber compost or wood chips to soften the blow from a fall from the monkey bars or the slide.
  • For parents of driving-age teens, the time from Memorial Day to Labor Day is sometimes known as “the 100 deadliest days.” Drunken driving increases during the summer months, and teen driving accidents increase, too. The vast majority of young people who die in alcohol-related crashes are killed on Friday and Saturday evenings. Even if youths themselves are not drinking and driving, they are more likely to be killed because of adults who have been drinking and driving on weekend evenings. Parents may want to limit their teen’s late-night and weekend driving hours.

Summertime is a wonderful time for relaxing, making memories, and for family vacations. Just be sure to keep yourself and your children safe!