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01/11/2023 08:00 AM

Restore Shore Line East Service

Guilford residents should contact the Connecticut Department of Transportation to urge a restoration of Shore Line East service to at least 100 percent of pre-COVID schedules.

All train lines in Connecticut, except Shore Line East, have been returned to 100 percent pre-COVID service. The Waterbury Branch Line has been expanded to 140 percent pre-COVID service. Shore Line East remains at only 66 percent of pre-COVID service, with no timeline for full restoration.

While it is true that ridership remains well below pre-COVID levels, the current schedule design does not encourage a return to the rails. Even in peak hour travel, the current reduced service only provides one train per hour to one hour and 20 minutes, depending on time of day. Non-peak service can easily leave commuters with two-to-three-hour travel gaps.

When operated properly, with full service and better connection options, Shore Line East provides a highly valuable public service to Guilford and the shoreline community. Residents without access to vehicles can navigate to essential destinations along I-95 and the service is cheaper than travel by personal vehicle, especially with high gas prices. Train travel is a far greener mode of transit than travel by personal vehicle.

Importantly, Shore Line East service is important to our local economy, allowing tourists to easily make the trip from places like south-western Connecticut and New York to experience our quintessential New England coastal charm. Contact CDOT and our State legislators today and urge a full restoration of Shore Line East service. Frequency builds ridership.

Blaize Levitan