MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The daily commute is starting to look a bit different for some people in Connecticut.
On Monday, state and local officials announce the CTrail is back. After more than a year of an altered scheduled, the CTrail line is back in full service and a lot of people are on board with this idea.
Change arrived on the CTrail line in Meriden, restoring a long-awaited convenice to customers. The height of the pandemic saw fewer riders boarding the trains, forcing a change in the schedule.
“We cut seven round trips on this line alone and Shoreline East, and today, those trips are being restored,” said Joseph Giulietti, CT COT Commissioner.
Four trains on the Shoreline East will be extended from Old Saybrook to New London, but one thing will remain the same.
“Even if you’re vaccinated, you do have to wear a mask and that’s going to be important to keep everyone safe,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
With fewer people climbing on board for 16 months, the rail line took a major financial hit.
“Ridership fell down to eight percent, but we were always a subsidized operation,” Giulietti said.
Customers who depend on this mode of transportation can also be credited with its potential rebound.
“I’m going to Hartford. I take it for work every day and I go up to visit friends on weekends, and the extra train times are just very helpful to me,” said Bryan Winchell.
The rail line is also providing an economic boom in the area, such as a Community Health Center and a warehouse that is being scooped up by developers.
“You’ve got apartments over here, an apartment complex over there. It’s representing over $50 million in investments and more on the way,” said Tim Coon, Meriden City Manager.