MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut would add stops for commuters along the Danbury and Waterbury branches of the rail lines if a new proposal from state lawmakers goes through.
“I think it’s really exciting that it’s being considered,” Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim said.
The question now, he said, is how feasible it would be. He said the town would need a passenger station and parking.
The proposal would add a stop in New Milford to the Danbury branch, and stops in Seymour, Shelton and Derby on the Waterbury branch. The state legislators are also asking the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation to look into creating service between Hartford and Middletown.
Only freight trains ride the rails, which means that adding passenger service would be costly. Rail service in the state is already heavily subsidized. Shore Line East gets the most support.
It’s estimated that the state subsidy will be $131.87 a passenger this year.
Ridership still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. The hops is that more people will choose to ride rail if service is expanded.
Commuters on Tuesday were excited about the plan.
“Definitely, I definitely would be using it,” said Shardae Botelho, of Middletown.