New train line to link New Haven, Bradley

Yale students will soon be able to ride a train from Bradley International Airport to campus, a transportation option about three times cheaper than using the shuttle company Connecticut Limo.

On Friday, the Connecticut State Bond Commission approved the allocation of $26 million toward the design and creation of a 62-mile railway from New Haven to Springfield, Mass., that will make a stop in Hartford near Bradley. Gov. M. Jodi Rell is still seeking money from the federal government to offset construction costs, her spokesman Adam Liegeot ’94 said. But he said the state expects the rail to be completed by 2015, when trains operated by Amtrak will run every 30 minutes from Union Station to Bradley.

Amtrak officials did not respond for comment, but Liegeot said the Amtrak train ride between New Haven and Hartford will cost $11 during off-peak hours and $16 during peak hours. The cost of riding CT Limo — which many of the 20 students interviewed said is a popular airport shuttle option — is currently discounted to $42 each way for Yale students traveling from Phelps Gate to Bradley.

Half a dozen students interviewed Tuesday said they were excited to hear of the planned railroad because it will provide a cheaper transportation option . But some students said they still favor the convenience of airport shuttles like the one run by CT Limo.

The railway has been in the works since 2005, when the Connecticut Department of Transportation published the plans. Liegeot said Rell has wanted to implement the plans for several years.

“When Gov. Rell took office in 2004, major investments in rail had been put off for decades,” he said.

Seventeen of the 20 students interviewed said they think the expansion is worth the money needed for its construction.

“The train has always been reliable,” said Faizaan Kisat ’12, who uses the Metro-North train to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He said a train to Bradley would be “cheap and convenient.”

But Anjali Jotwani ’13, who said she always flies through Bradley, said she often travels with a lot of luggage and enjoys the convenience of CT Limo’s almost door-to-door shuttle service.

Donald Cohen, the vice president for CT Limo, said his company does not fear a drop in business and supports the new rail line. He added that his customers “want the airport shuttle for convenience.”

In addition to funding for the railway, the state commission last month spent $700 million on 200 new M-8 railcars for the Metro-North train system, which services the tri-state area. The cars will appear on the New Haven line later this year.

Comments