GUILFORD, Conn.– Riders and politicians are fighting to keep Shore Line East service. Right now, the Department of Transportation is proposing to slash off-peak trains and on top of that, increase ticket prices.
Shore Line East commuters are a hardy crew. Many get up before the sun does to take a train that’s not always there.
“It’s been disappointing because the service hasn’t been there,” said Guilford’s Pamela Gery.
Instead of taking the rails, they’re taking the wheels. The Department of Transportation is providing two buses, and riders we spoke with are fed up.
Gery said, “It makes a long commute even longer. So, it’s been very inconvenient.”Related Content: Shore Line East commuters frustrated and fare hikes may be on the horizon
Now, the Department of Transportation just announced public hearing. They are $60 milion in the red. So, they’re considering slashing off-peak and weekend schedules. Also, they’re looking into increasing ticket prices.
That’s why this group of local politicians gathered in front of the Guilford train station today. A mix of Democrats and Republicans say a reliable, frequent train service is vital for their shoreline to thrive.
Executive Director of the Lower CT River Valley’s Sam God said, “It’s a really awkward time that the state is preparing to ramp up new commuter rail service to Hartford and at the same time reducing service on Shore Line East and the branch lines to Metro North.”Related Content: Fasten your seat belt, here we go. Gov proposes tolls and tax hikes
When it comes those fare hikes commuters aren’t too happy.
“Fare hikes are certainly not anything that anyone wants but we want to maintain the service in general,” said State Rep. Sean Scanlon for Branford (D).
“I guess I would take that in order to keep the train alive. I really love this train,” said Guilford’s Bob Sessions.
The earliest they would cut weekend and off-peak trains would be in July.