HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — For the first time in two months, riders on the Hartford Line were able to hop on board trains again.
Service was shut down for much of the summer due to safety and track improvement projects.
Trains were back in service in Hartford Monday, to the appreciation of many riders who rely on public transportation, including John Madsen-Bibeau of West Hartford, who commutes to Springfield every day to get to the office.
“I’m blind in one eye so I can’t drive,” John Madsen-Bibeau from West Hartford said. “I’ve used it for probably five to six years now, mostly because I don’t want to pollute.”
Madsen-Bibeau and other riders had to take the Hartford Line’s substitute buses while repair work was done at the station.
“There was confusion at the beginning,” Madsen-Bibeau said. “Once we got settled in, it was fine.”
Crews completed repair work on the canopy over the platform, preventing rainwater from coming down and potentially causing flooding — a safety hazard for travelers.
It’ll take another six to eight weeks to finish repairs on the canopy above Union Station, but that won’t impact train travel.
The construction caused a decline in overall ridership in the last two months, according to the state department of transportation. Officials expect those numbers to rebound, with expanding rail service a core focus for the state.
“There is significant investment happening on rail service in Connecticut,” said Josh Morgan, the department of transportation’s communications manager. “We know people like to travel by train, get cars off-road, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Take a look at the Hartford Line schedule here.