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Commuter Rail Lines in Connecticut and New York Seeing Increased Ridership

Jim Maurer
Creative Commons
"What was already the busiest commuter rail line in the nation has only gotten busier."
Gov. Dannel Malloy

Ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line has reached a record high.

Governor Dannel Malloy said on Tuesday there were 40.3 million passenger trips in 2015. That's up two percent from 2014 when ridership was 39.6 million.

Malloy's office said the 2015 figure marks a milestone for the rail line and shows a need for Connecticut to continue investing in the rail line's infrastructure.

Last month, Malloy announced $3.9 billion in proposed upgrades to the New Haven line as part of the state's $100 billion transportation overhaul. The improvements include increasing track capacity, upgrading sections of track, and reconfiguring several stations.

Connecticut's figures were released on the same day New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced there were a record number of riders on the Metro-North Rail Road in 2015. The MTA said more than 86 million people rode on the commuter rail system that connects New York City, its northern suburbs, and Connecticut.

The line is considered the busiest commuter rail line in the U.S.

Officials said there was also an increase of riders on the Long Island Rail Road, the nation's largest commuter rail system. The MTA said the LIRR saw the highest number of riders since 1949 with a total of 87.6 million commuters last year.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast attributed the uptick to rising gas prices and a generation of millennials who value public transportation.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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