June 21, 2021

Sen. Haskell Joins State, Federal Leaders To Unveil The TIME FOR CT Plan, Improving Rail Service In Connecticut

STRATFORD – Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport), Senate Chair of the Transportation Committee, joined state and federal leaders to announce the “TIME FOR CT” Plan, aimed at modernizing rail service throughout the state of Connecticut. The plan will reduce travel time between New Haven and New York by up to 10 minutes this year and 25 minutes by 2035.

State and federal leaders who joined the event at Stratford’s Metro-North train station included Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Haskell’s Transportation Committee co-chair State Representative Roland Lemar.

“TIME FOR CT” is an $8-$10 billion investment program that, with funding, will improve the frequency and reliability of train service throughout Connecticut. It aims to reduce commuting time by finding ways to enhance current services such as upgrading rail tracks, enhancing signal systems, replacing and repairing bridges, expanding capacity and improving customer experiences by acquiring new rail lines. The program’s benefits include:

  • Saving 10 minutes of travel time by 2022
  • Reducing travel time by 25 minutes by 2035
  • Cutting carbon emissions by attracting more people to public transit — the New Haven Line generates 80% less CO2 emissions per passenger mile than cars
  • Providing a more modern fleet with WiFi, work tables, and access to Penn Station and Grand Central
  • Upgrading our signal system to enable maximum speeds of 100 mph
  • Generating an estimated 45,000 direct construction jobs over 15 years

“What is more valuable to commuters than their time?” said Sen. Haskell. “10 minutes may seem like a small start, but do the math: 5,240 minutes per year adds up to over 3 days. This plan is about giving back time — time to have dinner with a spouse or tuck kids into bed. It’s also time for Connecticut to recognize that investments in public transit are investments in cleaner air and cleaner water. It’s time for Connecticut to understand that transportation is a central part of the equation as we seek to attract businesses and families to our state. It’s time for Connecticut to decide we’re not just going to complain about our aging infrastructure, we’re going to do something about it.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Revolutionizing our state’s transportation infrastructure is a crucial part of the Connecticut comeback,” Lt. Governor 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 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 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. “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.”