NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The state’s current proposed budget would cut $38 million in subsidies to the Metropolitan Transit Authority for service provided along the Metro North-New Haven line.
The cut in funding would result in fewer trains that can be provided on the New Haven line through the state of Connecticut.
According to data from the MTA the New Haven line servers over 6.3 million passengers in the first three months of 2023 alone. The exact number of trains that could be removed from the current schedule is unknown, but Governor Ned Lamont believes the cuts would start with times that have less demand.
“People are taking Metro North on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are almost at pre-COVID levels but on Fridays, the trains are almost empty. I think if you see some cutbacks then maybe on Friday,” said Lamont.
Metropolitan Transit Authority Chair and CEO, Janno Lieber believes it might affect peak travel times.
“If those Connecticut budget cuts that are being discussed in Hartford do go through there would be consequences to how much service is run, at least in the Connecticut portions of the New Haven Line and it would be felt in the peak as well as in throughout the day,” said Lieber.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Governor’s office are talking with the MTA about how the cuts would look like. Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesperson Josh Morgan issued the following statement:
The Governor’s FY24-FY25 budget proposal is based on the understanding that ridership numbers and travel patterns have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, and those changes should be reflected in the services provided. The legislature’s budget contains similar funding levels in FY24. CTDOT is working in consultation with MTA Metro-North to analyze current ridership patterns and possible schedule adjustments to reflect available funding. Following final budget negotiations and passage of the FY24-FY25 budget, CTDOT will conduct a Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis, which includes public hearings. Those would be conducted over the summer, with any changes going into effect in the fall.
The decreased number of trains between New Haven and New York City wouldn’t be the only stop affected it could impact the number of trains that go to other cities in the state like Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Bridgeport and others along the New Haven line.
The deadline for a state budget to be passed is June 7.
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