Governor Rell: Gov. Rell Announces Creation of Commuter Rail Parking Task Force

{Seal of the State of Connecticut}


M. Jodi Rell

January 21, 2009

Governor Rell Announces Creation of Commuter

Rail Parking Task Force


                Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the creation of a task force to undertake a new review of parking management and capacity issues along the New Haven Line and Shore Line East commuter rail corridors in southern Connecticut.


            “Tens of thousands of commuters – some with parking permits and some without – compete for limited parking spaces every day at stations up and down our rail lines. I believe there has to be a better way,” Governor Rell said. “I am asking the Department of Transportation to convene a task force – including the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council and the regional planning agencies – to identify major issues and develop recommendations. As we add rail cars and expand the capacity of our rail system, we need short- and longer-range solutions to a problem that has plagued rail commuters for too long.”


            At the governor’s direction, the state has ordered 300 new rail cars, which will begin to arrive in 2010.


            “Parking is a significant part of my larger public transit vision. That broader vision includes planning for transit-oriented development, station access, bicycle and pedestrian options and connections with bus service,” the Governor said. She noted that the policies for parking along the New Haven and Shore Line East lines can vary dramatically from station to station, exacerbated by the fact that while most are state-owned, some are municipally owned and/or operated.


            Governor Rell directed the new task force to make sure that all voices are heard.


            “Despite our efforts over the past few years to increase parking for rail commuters, parking policies that vary from station to station and the lack of adequate parking in many areas are problems that will only be relieved with cooperation and agreement from commuters, the municipalities, planning agencies and all of our

stakeholders,” Governor Rell said. “New DOT Commissioner Marie has done an outstanding job in just a few short months and I know the task force will help us achieve progress on this critically important issue.”


“I am keenly aware of the sensitive issues relating to who sets rail parking policies,” Commissioner Joseph F. Marie said. “This is going to take everyone’s cooperation and there is a great deal at stake.  Connecticut has made tremendous investments in our rail facilities and equipment -- but to serve our existing customers and attract new ones, we must have a sufficient amount of convenient parking.”


            Commissioner Marie asked James P. Redeker, the DOT’s new Chief of the Bureau of Public Transportation, to convene the task force. Redeker officially joined the Connecticut DOT on Tuesday, January 20, after more than 30 years with New Jersey Transit.


            “Only when we get all of the right people around the table will we be able to come up with real solutions,” Redeker said. “I understand this issue is a complex one, but with a common purpose, I am confident we can develop some critical recommendations to deal with this issue as we move everyone forward.”


            Governor Rell also announced today a $4 million bond issue for design of a second parking garage at Union Station in New Haven.


The New Haven Line between New Haven and New York City, owned by the DOT and operated by Metro-North, is among the busiest in the country, with more than 35 million passenger trips each year. Shore Line East, operated by the state on tracks owned by Amtrak between New Haven and New London, has more than 466,000 passenger trips annually.


Content Last Modified on 1/21/2009 5:45:27 PM

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