Connecticut Department of Transportation, state officials celebrate New Canaan line returning to full service

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NEW CANAAN, CT – On Monday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and state officials gathered at the New Canaan Train Station to celebrate the announcement that the New Canaan Line will return to nearly full service beginning Sunday, August 29. Attendees including State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport), CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti, MTA Metro-North president Catherine Rinaldi, New Canaan First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and other members of the New Canaan Delegation including State Representative Thomas O’Dea (R-New Canaan) and Senate Majority President Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) announced the service changes, which will provide direct support and increased transportation opportunities to the New Canaan community and the surrounding region.

“For nearly a year and a half, the New Canaan line has operated on a limited basis. For much of that time, ridership was low and commuters weren’t commuting as usual,” said Sen. Haskell. “But these days, my constituents are frustrated by the increasingly crowded trains and the need to transfer in Stamford each way. As with every investment in public transit, the return of service on the New Canaan Line represents a step forward for our environment, as fewer commuters will be resigned to driving to work, equity, as those without cars will be able to travel more efficiently, and economic development, as Fairfield County’s economic vitality is tied to our ability to conveniently access New York. I am tremendously grateful for the readiness and responsiveness of our state’s Department of Transportation and our partners at the MTA in making this happen.”

“This is exciting news for New Canaan commuters and the region as we focus on returning to a post-pandemic pace,” said Rep. Lemar, House Chair of the Transportation Committee, in a submitted quote. “While public safety is still a top priority, it is encouraging to see our state moving in the right direction and taking steps toward bringing back a sense of normality to daily routines.”

“The New Canaan Line returning to full service is another positive step in the right direction in Connecticut’s recovery from the pandemic,” said CTDOT Commissioner Giulietti. “As passengers continue to return to the rails in New Canaan and throughout Connecticut, I want them and others to know that the Connecticut Department of Transportation is working to meet their needs, connecting them to families, friends, and businesses faster, more efficiently, and more modernly. We are doing our part to improve the nation’s rail network for this generation and the next.”

“Our valued Connecticut customers will see the return of direct, transfer-free service between New Canaan and Grand Central starting the week before Labor Day as well as 40 trains added each weekday on the New Haven Line,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of MTA Metro-North Railroad. “Riders returning to the railroad will find stations and trains that are cleaner than ever, and will be able to see the approximate number of people in each car in real time by using the upgraded Metro-North Train Time app.”

“The restoration of express commuter trains from New Canaan to Grand Central Terminal by Metro-North is very welcome news to all commuters on the New Canaan branch line, including residents of New Canaan, North Stamford, Darien, Wilton and bordering Westchester towns, as well as those downstream in Greenwich and Rye, NY who rely upon these thru trains for convenient and comfortable train service to Manhattan,” said First Selectman Moynihan. “I thank Governor Lamont, Commissioner Giulietti and Metro-North President Rinaldi for bringing back normal commuter service for our commuters.”

“This is welcoming news! Our train line is a big contributor to our local economy and a support to commuters in our region who rely on this service,” said State Representative Lucy Dathan (D-New Canaan) in a submitted quote. “New Canaan isn’t called the “last station to heaven” for no reason: what makes our village so vibrant is our proximity to both Manhattan and the quieter countryside of Connecticut which is only made possible via the New Canaan line. I encourage everyone to use their best judgment with respect to safety when traveling to keep each other safe.”

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread throughout Connecticut, the New Canaan Line saw a drastic reduction in ridership and scheduled trips in a focus on individuals staying home to reduce spread of the virus. Those service interruptions remained in effect for more than a year. With effective COVID-19 vaccines widely available and more than 70% of Connecticut adults with protection against the virus, reopening the train schedule to full service allows for increased economic and transportation opportunities for members of the public, especially those resuming commuting to work and traveling for leisure.

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