|Issue 23||February 23, 1995 |
Connecticut Gov. Rowland Wants to Eliminate Shore Line East Service
Connecticut Governor John Rowland wants to eliminate Shore Line East commuter rail service. Shore Line East was launched in 1990 as a means to reduce traffic backups at New Haven's I-95 Quinnipiac Bridge, and runs from New Haven east to Old Saybrook. Average daily ridership in 1994 was 1,105. Not only does the Governor's executive budget eliminate the service altogether, but Rowland specifically attacked the rail service in his recent budget address. Reportedly, the rail line has been classified a "middle class" benefit chosen for extinction as part of a State House attempt to spread budget pain across different sectors of the CT population. Elimination of the train service was not a part of the CT Dept. of Transportation budget submitted to Rowland's budget team. Shore Line East's congestion-easing effect on I-95 has been the foundation of a collaborative effort between environmentalists, municipal leaders and state transportation officials to address New Haven-area transportation problems without resorting to costly and environmentally damaging highway construction -- collaborative members were looking ahead to increased Shore Line East service and higher ridership. If the Governor prevails, it will probably also spell doom for proposed Hartford-New Haven commuter rail service.