ConnDOT: Shore Line East Customers Note Rail Service Improvements





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Shore Line East Customers Note

Rail Service Improvements


                The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) today released the results from a recent passenger survey showing improved customer satisfaction and on-time performance on the Shore Line East (SLE) rail line.  Ninety-Two (92) percent of those responding say overall performance has improved or stayed the same on Shore Line East.  Of that group, nearly 32 percent feel service has improved on Shore Line East.  The survey results were presented to shoreline chief elected officials at the August South Central Council of Governments meeting late last month. 


                “Everyday we see more people using Connecticut Commuter Rail services, whether it is Shore Line East or the New Haven rail lines.  We are pleased that Shore Line East customers are satisfied with current service and are noticing our efforts to meet the ever-increasing customer demand,” said ConnDOT Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter.  “With more people taking the train, the state has been working diligently to maintain the high level of service passengers have come to expect on our rail transit services.  This survey confirms that we have been doing well to meet customer needs.”


ConnDOT reported:


Customer Satisfaction:

  • 94 percent were satisfied with overall service this past year on SLE.
  • 86 percent of all respondents cited on-time performance as the most important reason for riding SLE.
  • 57 percent find scheduling of trains most important.
  • 32 percent cite parking at the boarding stations as the most important factor in their decision to ride SLE.
  • 95 percent surveyed were satisfied with the availability of seating. 


Commuter Destination:

  • Over half of the morning commuters (54 percent) take SLE to New Haven with 31 percent getting off at New Haven’s State Street Station, and another 23 percent going to New Haven’s Union Station.
  • 43 percent of all SLE passengers continue their journey beyond New Haven on the New Haven Line, the highest percentage in any SLE survey to date.  Of the passengers continuing past New Haven, the top destinations are New York City, Stamford and Bridgeport.


Commuter Loyalty:

  • Over 46 percent of the commuters have been riding SLE for more than four years.
  • 30 percent have been riding SLE between one and three years, and 20 percent riding within the past year.
  • 84 percent ride Shore Line East between three to five days a week.




Commuter Reasons for Riding the Rails:

  • Nearly 40 percent cite the most influential reason for riding SLE is the recent construction and highway congestion on the Pearl Harbor Memorial (Q) Bridge.
  • Almost 20 percent cite their dislike of driving during rush hour.
  • 15 percent cite the cost of driving to work.


SLE Train and Station Usage:

  • The most popular morning train is the 7:40 a.m. arrival at New Haven’s Union Station, with over 24 percent of passengers surveyed.
  • The most popular evening train is the 5:02 p.m. departure from New Haven’s Union Station, with 21 percent of those surveyed.
  • Madison Station is the most popular boarding station among those surveyed, followed by Old Saybrook, Guilford, Branford, Clinton, and Westbrook train stations in descending order.
  • 4 out of 5 (80 percent) of SLE passengers drive alone and park at the train station.


In June, Shore Line East marked over 5 million passengers traveled on the rail service since its inception in 1991.  Shore Line East continues to see increase ridership.  In the first six months of 2006, ridership has increased over 10 percent when compared to a similar period in 2005.


A total of 663 surveys were completed from surveys distributed on-board SLE trains over a period of approximately one week during November 2005.  The survey was designed to provide customer input on satisfaction with services provided, logistics of customer trips, preferences of services, employment destinations and demographics.