“Attractive option when gas prices rise”

CLINTON — Seeking sanctuary in Clinton Station, the governor and other public officials discussed how station improvements — and doubling the number of trains each day — reflect a greater commitment to station infrastructure. the state.

The state Department of Transportation announced on Friday the opening of a second platform at the station at 99 Central Ave. and the addition of additional train service. The increase in service began on Monday, with an opening ceremony held on Wednesday morning. Located across from a large apartment complex under construction, the station is part of the area’s transit-oriented neighborhood plan.

“The completion of this major capital project increases safety, accessibility and convenience for riders at Clinton Station and along the Shore Line East,” said DOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti. “The addition of more trains passing through Clinton Station is good news for commuters commuting to work, shopping and traveling for pleasure.”

The addition of a new boarding platform makes the station fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and has more than doubled Shore Line East service, according to the DOT release. Train riders will now have more travel options between the station and New Haven or New London and easier to connect to the Metro-North Railroad.

Weekday service at Clinton Station was increased from 11 to 23 trains, and weekend service from seven to 16 trains, according to the release.

“This project is just another example of our commitment to increasing accessibility and convenience for all cyclists,” Giulietti said. “Additional amenities and train service will encourage frequent commuters and new passengers to consider Connecticut rail services as a safe and sustainable way to travel across our state.”

Currently, weekday ridership on Shore Line East is at 45% of pre-pandemic levels, but with the station improvements, DOT hopes ridership will increase, DOT spokesman Josh Morgan said.

The state’s public rail system is not part of the fare-reduction incentives for public bus transit rolled out last week, Morgan said. However, Clinton Station now has over 140 free public parking spaces.

“The free buses continue until June 30, but logistically the train service is not part of this program,” he said.

Station improvements include the addition of an overhead pedestrian walkway, similar to West Haven station, and dual elevators, the statement said. There are also covered seats on the platform, a covered bike rack and repair station, electric vehicle charging stations, blue light safety stations/phones and additional outlets for riders to charge their devices.

Along with improved accessibility and convenience, increased amenities are giving Connecticut residents more incentive to consider switching to public transit, said Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport and Transportation Committee Chairman. of the General Assembly.

“We could talk about this being an ADA-compliant station, but I want to focus — since gas prices are high — on the value of public transit at a time when everything the world cannot afford to fill up at the pump,” Haskell said. “We know public transit is always a good option, but we know it’s a particularly attractive option when gas prices are rising and with renovated and improved stations.

The completion of improvements at Clinton Station comes days after Governor Ned Lamont lifted the 25-cent statewide gas tax to ease pressure from soaring gas prices. nationwide gasoline.

“With 38% of carbon emissions coming from the transportation sector, the biggest contributor to our air pollution is transportation,” Haskell said. “We should do everything we can to make it affordable and attractive for people to take public transport, to take a bus or get on a train and to invest in trains like this.”

For Lamont, the new station underscores his administration’s commitment to bringing the state’s key infrastructure into the 21st century.

The increased service could bring back more passengers who have abandoned trains due to the pandemic or the resulting decrease in service, Lamont said.

“The more convenient it is, the easier it is to ride the rail, the more people are going to ride that rail,” he said. “It’s like in the 19th century, everyone wanted the rail to go to their town. …Infrastructure takes much of our 100-year-old roads, railroads and bridges and brings them into the 21st century. It is more important to our state than any other state because we are old. We have a lot of old stuff going on.

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