Friday, April 20, 2018

Gov. Malloy opens Meridian Station; calls for stable transportation funding

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Gov. Malloy opens Meridian Station; calls for stable transportation funding Connecticut Department of Transportation

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, alongside Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker and numerous federal and state officials, held a ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of the new CTRail Hartford Line Meriden Station on April 19.

The station will provide service to existing Amtrak trains and future Hartford Line trains when the CTRail Hartford Line passenger rail service launches in June 2018.

"My administration has been committed to improving transportation options for families and businesses," Gov. Malloy said. "This new station is a catalyst for transit-oriented development in Meriden, helping to make it a more livable, walkable community and drastically increasing transportation choices for commuters. The Hartford Line will allow Connecticut residents to look to transit rather than automobiles, resulting in less traffic on our overburdened highways, fewer emissions, and healthier communities."

Construction of the station began in December 2014 and was completed in November 2017. It features several amenities aimed at improving the passenger experience for Hartford Line riders, including high-level platforms on both sides of the tracks, elevators, stairways, an overhead pedestrian bridge, canopies covering approximately 50 percent of each platform, ticket vending machines, and a passenger information display system. To improve passenger safety, the new station features automatic platform snow melting systems, security cameras, and blue light emergency call boxes.

"The robust and customer-centric station you see here today is an illustration of the years of commitment and collaboration between the department, its program management team and the city of Meriden," CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. "The station is already driving economic development, and with the expected increase in rail ridership following launch, this station and others along the Hartford Line will serve Connecticut communities well for years to come."

The governor also reiterated his call for additional revenue to ensure the short- and long-term solvency of the Special Transportation Fund (STF), which without prompt action will be in deficit by fiscal year 2019.

"Investment in our infrastructure should not be seen as optional," Gov. Malloy said. "The state has been forced to cancel or postpone indefinitely $4.3 billion in projects across Connecticut, almost all of which are aimed at keeping our roads and bridges back in a state of good repair. And this isn't just about safety – it's about our economy. We simply cannot afford to allow our infrastructure to fall further behind even as our neighbors make much-needed investments."

The administration continues to warn that failure to shore up funding for the STF would cause drastic increases in rail and bus fares; major service reductions on Metro-North, Shore Line East and CTtransit bus services; and prevent essential repairs and upgrades to the state's transportation system.