Alfonso Robinson

Political activist, online journalist

VIDEO: Congressman Murphy speaks out against Gov. Rell’s recommendation to eliminate area rail service

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Cross post from HatCityBLOG

This afternoon, Congressman Chris Murphy paid a visit to Danbury and Waterbury to speak out against Gov Rell’s proposal to eliminate of the Metro-North rail service. The recommendation to eliminate the service in Danbury and Waterbury was one of several spending cut proposals Rell suggested to state lawmakers last week.

From this afternoon in Waterbury, here’s highlights of Congressman Murphy’s presser.

Press Release:

“We are pumping federal and state resources into the state’s branch lines right now, so Governor Rell’s proposal to cancel service on these lines now would be a foolish mistake. On top of the federal grants we’ve already secured for commuter rail in Connecticut, there may be more to come, ushering in a new era in commuter rail in parts of the state that desperately need it. We can’t give up now – too much is riding on commuter rail,”

Murphy has long been a supporter of the rail branch lines, holding riding meetings on the Waterbury and Danbury lines to discuss how to expand service and increase ridership. He firmly believes that accessible, affordable commuter rail service is essential to Connecticut’s future economic development, and he, along with the rest of the Congressional delegation, have been fighting for and winning federal funding for commuter rail in the state.

In Danbury, the line is currently undergoing a signaling system update funded by federal stimulus dollars and state resources. The state has committed $10 million to make a variety of capital improvements to stations along the MetroNorth New Haven line, including the branch lines. The 27-mile Waterbury branch is the longest of the three New Haven branch lines, and is poised to be a major commuter resource if upgraded. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is nearing the completion of multi-year feasibility scoping studies to examine cost-effective alternatives for increasing ridership on the Danbury, Waterbury, and New Canaan branch lines. Yet last week, Governor Rell sent a letter to the Connecticut General Assembly outlining ways to cut state spending, including eliminating service on the state’s three branch lines.

“Put simply, Governor Rell’s proposal to eliminate service on these branch lines would be a disaster for Connecticut commuters at a time when we are working diligently to secure additional federal support for their expansion and improvement,” said Murphy.

Categories: General

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2 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Hi Al …

    If you take the $30 million state money for the signal update, you see, and add the $10 million state money for station upgrades you get $40 million. Really. And, you see, if you add the annual operating budget for the lines in question, you would get a lot more money. Having said that, you see, take that money and purchase a home, in this depressed real estate market, for each commuter that would be closer to their place of employment. Use the money remaining to buy a condo in Florida for the railroad workers, thus keeping the union happy. Then, you see, shut down the rail lines saving any future expenses. It’s just that simple. And, don’t forget you see, Sara Palin is not qualified to be President!

  2. Mr Right says:

    Has any told Murphy the lection is over, and he won? I suspect he is trying to remake his image after having been pointed out, a rightfully so, as Pelosi’s lapdog.

    I see he still carries that collapsable podium in the trunk of his car to stage impromptu “press” conferences. Of course, the News Times is there to hang on every word, them along with the three operatives they managed to roust out of bed for the photo op.